Mississippi River Festival
The Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville held outdoor concerts at a newly constructed venue until 1980. Being centrally-located, it afforded those folks who were left out of the east/west coast events to see and hear great artists. The St Louis Symphony Orchestra was one of the featured performers (they played several times a year).

Two 1969 concerts stand out. On July 14, The Band played to a full house. For their encore, they had their former boss, Mr Dylan, appear to sing four songs. Earlier that year, on July 7, Arlo & Joni shared the stage and the results were broadcast on PBS in August.

The venue showcased many rockers thru 1980, including Emerson, Lake & Palmer (72), The Beach Boys (72, 77, 79, 80), Jackson Browne (72, 73, 77), Manassas (73), Chicago (73, 74, 78), Crosby & Nash (73, 76), Joni Mitchell w/Tom Scott & The L A Express (74), Poco (74, 75, 79), Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger (75), Jefferson Starship (75), Flying Egos (74, 75, 78, 77).

Note: In the listings below, only "our" artists are listed. Full details are at the SIU website link.

Jun 23Buffy Sainte-Marie
Jun 26Butterfield Blues Band
Jul 1Aorta; Janis Joplin
Jul 7Arlo Guthrie; Joni Mitchell
Jul 10Blues Image; Iron Butterfly
Jul 14The Band (suprise encore w/Bobby)
Jul 17Ian & Sylvia
Jul 22Richie Havens
Jul 23Joan Baez

Jul 8Grateful Dead
Jul 15Chicago
Jul 29Albert King; Delaney & Bonnie (w/Duane Allman)
Jul 20The Young Disciples; The Spinners; Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Aug 3Flying Burrito Brothers; Guess Who
Aug 5Judy Collins
Aug 11The Band
Aug 15Grand Funk Railroad

Jul 15Judy Collins
Jul 20Long John Baldry; Buddy Miles
Jul 26Mylon LeFevre & Holy Smoke; Mountain
Jul 27John Hartford; Earl Scruggs Revue
Jul 29Rock & Roll Revival, with Chuck Berry, Gary US Bonds, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bo Diddley
Jul 30Kings Of Rhythm; Ike & Tina Turner Revue
Aug 4Matthews Southern Comfort; Rod Stewart & Faces
Aug 10Albert King; Roberta Flack
Aug 13Carlos Montoya; Buffy Sainte-Marie
Aug 16Wishbone Ash; The Who


TV Guide Close-up

=WNET, New York
Sounds Of Summer: "The Mississippi River Festival" 8/3/69, NET
Joni & Arlo at festival hosted by Southern Illinois University, filmed July 7.


SIU Website on MRF
Looking back at the glory days of the Mississippi River Festival


Festivals Home page

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