Schaefer Music Festival

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Schaefer Music Festival
Schaef.jpg
Poster for the Shaefer Music Festival, August 3, 1974
Genre Rock, folk, blues rock, folk rock, jazz rock, Latin rock,reggae
Dates June–September
Location(s) Central Park, New York City (site of original festival), West Side Piers, New York City
Years active 1967–1976
Founded by Hilly Kristal, Ron Delsener

The Schaefer Music Festival was a recurring music festival held in the summer between 1967 and 1976 at Wollman Rink in New York City's Central Park. It featured a number of notable performances.

History

The festival was sponsored by Rheingold Breweries until 1968, when the task was handled by F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company.[1] The cost of the annual music festival was about $500,000, and admissions, at $1 per person in 1968, were expected to bring in $250,000 to $270,000 for the summer program, leaving a deficit, picked up by Schaefer, of more than $200,000. "Until Schaefer decided to assume sponsorship, the prospect was that the ticket price [from 1967] would have to be doubled. The $2, [Commissioner of Parks August Heckscher] said, would have been 'too expensive for a lot of New Yorkers.'"[2]

In the 1960s, before the rise of corporate concert organizers and ticket agents, top rated bands would often play for free (especially in San Francisco) or for amounts that resulted in reasonable concert ticket prices. Just before the Schaefer Music Festival kicked off in the summer of 1968 a free concert was given in Central Park featuring the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, three of the top acts at that time. 6,000 people "jammed into the bandstand near the [Central Park] Mall while thousands more sprawled out on the grass and under the trees."[3]

Club owner and musician Hilly Kristal co-founded the series with producer and concert promoter Ron Delsener. Over the years a Who's Who of superstars of the popular music scene performed there. Inexpensive tickets, which started at $1 in 1967 and rose to only $3 by 1976, further contributed to the event's popularity. While the capacity of the Wollman Rink was usually limited to about 6,000 to 7,000 people, it is reported that Bob Marley's performance in 1975 had attracted about 15,000 people.[citation needed]

In 1976, Dr. Pepper assumed sponsorship of a Central Park concert series, renamed the Dr. Pepper Central Park Music Festival. Due to residential noise complaints, this series was moved to Pier 84 on the West Side in 1981. In 1983 Miller Brewing Company took over sponsorship with the name "Miller Time Concert on the Pier" until 1988.

Festival line-ups

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

· August 7: show 32 6:30pm ticket number 06441

See also

References

  1. ^ Rockwell, John (18 June 1975). "A Tradition Here Ends as Event Seeks Site for 1976". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2017. 
  2. ^ "Schaefer Rescues Park Jazz Series; Rheingold is Out". The New York Times. May 29, 1968. 
  3. ^ "6,000 in Park Rock to West Coast Sound". The New York Times. May 6, 1968. 

External links

  • RateYourMusic.com - List of Schaefer Music Festival performers
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