Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Warwick University Arts Festivals - Early 1970's

In the early 1970's - c 1970 - 75 - alongside with the Lanchester Poly Arts festivals in Coventry, Warwick university held some incredible Arts Festivals. A trove of bands, solo artists, Street theatre, Absurd theatre / Sound poets and much much more for a very cheap weekend ticket. Open not only to students but anyone who wanted to raise their cultural horizons. Here are some of the programmes and posters i still have...

Memories from Trev Teasdel
This poster from 1971 shows just the bands and music they had on and was posted in the reception of the Coventry Arts Umbrella Club - hence the note about the Umbrella Poets being on in Airport Lounge. The Umbrella club, under the editorship of Terry Watson, had run a quite classy poetry / literary magazine around the 'movement' and one edition included an essay by Phillip Larkin - Not the Places Fault (mentioned in Andrew Motion's Bio of Larkin as a footnote

The Umbrella a full programme of visiting poets / extra mural classes / poetry / folk performances and the Umbrella Poets group who met to read and critique poems and do performances - Warwick University being one. I did my first tentative public poetry performance with them at Warwick, on stage at Airport lounge. The group had such luminaries as John Hewitt, the celebrated irish poet who at the time was Director of Art at the Coventry Herbert Museum and Art Gallery"

Warwick University Arts Festival 1972

Warwick University Arts Festival 1973

Warwick University Arts Festival  1974

Warwick University Arts Festival  1975

The Warwick festivals were quite amazing - happening over a weekend and part influenced my own approach to organising artistic endeavours. They created a kind of atmosphere and were open to both students and the public. We used to stop over in the hall of residence, taking a sleeping bag, crouched up with others in the communal kitchens or any where you could sleep (unofficially of course)!

The following few pages are from a booklet given to me by a Warwick Uni student / poet who was at the Festival - Carol Gutteridge, as i was waiting outside Airport Lounge to read with the Umbrella Poets.

Comments from the Hobo Vox Blog 

High Tide..wasn't this the band that was a bit Hawkwindesque led by Tony Hill? ( who was a tad Jim Morrison ,(Doors) ) and sometimes included Simon House of Hawkwind and Third Ear Band.
My memories not so good , but I think they played in Birmingham a bit before the Warwick gig , deffo did the Roundhouse around Easter time. They toured after their 69 album Sea Shanties, which is still well worth listening to, even today.
I think they didnt go down too well at Warwick, I might be wrong. or there was some problem about payment,
They could be a bit too Beefheart for some
ps found this

Posted by: BroadgateGnome | 02/14/2007 at 09:14 PM

Thanks for that Lesley - I did see the gig with High Tide but can't remember much much about them now - T'was an age and a half ago. Ithink they alos played the Village in Cov and possibly the Plough - will check archives.

HIGH TIDE _ MY SPACE - I've made you link active here - although when I tried to put the url into the browser I got a Page not available - will see if an active link fares better!