THE OFFICIAL Stompin 76 SITE






Early Stompin 76 flyer (est. March 1976) shows Kingfish with Bob Weir, who ended up not being available, this was before we booked Bonnie Raitt, John Prine The Rowans & David Bromberg

A bunch of us drove down from NJ, in a questionable vehicle, and camped in one of the cornfields.  As I recall, the Pagans were there as “unofficial” police, and I remember catching rides to the stage area from time to time. One of my enduring memories is of Johnny Hartford, who showed me this origami style bird made from leaves of some sort (possibly corn husks) that someone gave to him. It has endured in the annals of my memory as one of the best adventures I’ve had. Cheers! Nancy MacIntyreHollinshead

$12 for a three day festival; no wonder I could afford it then. Unbelievable and I was there.
David Valentine

I remember parking on the side of the road and hiking in for 5 miles just to get to the gate to get in. So many people and the music was great. I lived in Carroll County, VA and I had never seen that many people in one place. First time I got to see Bonnie Raitt. It was great! We helped so many folks to get to and from the festival and saw some that had been driving in circles for hours trying to find the way back to the main roads. One of my most memorable times ever!Selena King

The festival that stands out above the rest was Stompin 76. Wow! I traveled there with 3 friends from NJ in a VW van, of course. We got there late at night. I remember seeing all the Pagans when we pulled into the grounds. We got stuck on the road close to the river and that is where we wound up camping. Not only was the music line up fantastic but since my boyfriend was a musician, I listened to many great jam sessions. Donna Segalla Steele

We got there Thursday night about midnight and set up - wasn't a level spot anywhere, so I set my tent up so I would roll down against the side and not slide out the door. Each morning the PA would fire up with "Let Your Love Flow" by the Bellamy Bros. (anyone else remember that?). The creek that fed into the river was the place to be - everyone sharing the DrBrohnnans each morning. White Lightning was $4 a cup (dispensed via 16 oz Dairy Queen cups as I remember it) what a heavy head after THAT. Yep, that was SOME time. Clark Robbins

Fri-Sun, August 6, 7, 8 1976
7 mi. N of Galax, VA
Lawson Farm
New River Jam Site

Welcome to the Official web site of Stompin 76, the legendary Bluegrass Music Festival held in the summer of the bicentennial year, North of the Bluegrass Capitol, Galax, VA, USA.

This one-time event was the biggest bluegrass music festival on record. The star-studded bluegrass/ blues lineup, combined with a city’s worth of bluegrass music and festival lovers, a low ticket price and historic marketing campaign, made Stompin 76 the place to be August 6,7,8 1976. The promoter was 21 yr. old Hal from Baltimore Co, Maryland, USA. Many attendees and their decedents still talk about wild experiences forging close relationships lasting a lifetime. Bluegrass did it!

The huge promotion brought festival goers together from all over the eastern, US. The people, the bands and that natural place, made this bluegrass festival not like any other bluegrass music festival before or after.

Appearing on one stage:
Bonnie Raitt
Earl Scruggs
Lester Flatt
Vassar Clements
Ry Cooder
John Hartford
Osborne Brothers
The Rowans
John Prine
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Doc & Merle Watson
The Dillards
Hickory Wind
New Grass Revival
David Bromberg
Red White and Bluegrass
Nashville Bluegrass Band
Papa John Creach
Eric Weisberg and Deliverance
Star Spangled Washboard Band
Grass On The Rocks

Good Ol' Boys
Joe and Bing.

3 Days of Fun and Music, all 23 bands for only $12.00!

"The Woodstock Of Bluegrass"

 
 
 

Promoted from February – August 5 1976 by Hal's Cactus Productions, Inc. of Las Vegas.

Hal founded Cactus Productions the year before in 1975 (at age 20) with the intention to start promoting concerts back in Baltimore, where he was from with his young friends. He based 2 of the 3 Stompin offices in Owings Mills, MD. The other office was in Winston Salem, NC.

"In fear of not promoting enough, we over promoted and made history" My apologies to that rural county and those nice country people. At least the Galax Fiddler’s Convention got a big boost from it forever.” ... Hal, 2011



T-SHIRT

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I was there.One of the best times of my life.My only regret is that I didn't get to see every performer there.Wasn't sufficiently medicated,I guess.Thanks for the memories.Hope to get the "t-shirt".All the best! Dan Poteat

What an epic weekend this must have been. I was too young to go with my Dad, but he gave me some pictures. He snapped this one I wanted to share with you. Keith Umberger

My, oh my. Talked to an old friend today---and he had brought up our trek to Galax way back when. What memories came in to view when I saw this website.I was 15 when I went to Woodstock with my uncle------and 22 when I went to Stompin 76. I'm 56 now, and out of the mix—Stompin was the one that I most remember. We took off from Pennsylvania and Maryland and headed down 81.  In the process of getting as close as possible, and trying to park----the 2 carloads got separated. I remember, we had to walk a couple miles to get anywhere near the music. And, as for the Pagans---I remember they were pretty much traffic overseers.And the music---no words---utopia.Thanks for the memories.  Good stuff.   Later  Van

Watched a documentary about Woodstock the other day and got me to thinking about Stompin 76. Left Maryland on Thursday, Aug 4, 1976 with 3 other guys in a 70 Chevy Impala. We took 20 cases of beer, some food and quite a few illegal smiles. We got caught in the big traffic jam like everyone else so we decided to split up. Many hours later we drove as far as we were allowed and pulled into a field and set up camp. Instantly met many new friends we never knew we had. Had the best time I ever had at any festival. Never saw a fight or any trouble. Did eventually run into our other two friends. This was probably the best 4 days of my party life. Wish I remembered more of it! Terry, Forest Hill MD

Man, what memories.  I was there all three, maybe four days.  Grew up in southwest VA and went to many music festivals in the 70s, including Union Grove many times.  Stompin 76 was by far the best.  That festival was unbelievable.  I spent most of my time watching the music and wondering around from camp to camp meeting new folks.  The music was fantastic and the setting priceless.  Thank you so much for putting that event together and I am sorry it was so hard on you Hal. With greatness comes a price. Doug, Reno, NV (now)

I'd like to thank the throngs of wild people who went to Stompin 76, who are still alive, and those of you who contacted me over the past years since the net emerged.

It's great to hear your stories after all of these years. Now with facebook's new group: "I was there at Stompin 76" the legend continues and is growing. The web has provided us with a virtual gathering farm once more. Those raw days back then, we were all so young, so carefree. Stompin was the biggest party that year and in retrospect one of the biggest outdoor camping festivals in modern American music history. You were all parking and camping all over that poor county (Carroll). The State Police Commandant flew in on his helicopter just to let me know that my customers were parking on his interstate 11 miles away and walking in. He wanted to know what I was going to do about it. I didn't have a good answer so he left.

Those of us that were there will never forget the freedom that was had by all and how simple it all was back then. Long live bluegrass and blues! I'm glad me and my mates pulled off the biggest bluegrass party in Southwest Virginia history. It was for us at that time! Now we can live the memories all over again. Just once in time, we enjoyed each other en mass to the sounds of non-stop Stompin Stars for a whole weekend, way back in a hot Southern August. Stay young, keep Stompin! Forever Yer Pal, Hal, 2009


This is to commemorate that classic bluegrass festival, the people that ventured there, and to stir the spirit once more so that those vivid (or blurred) memories of Stompin 76 linger for many, many years to come!

For 3 days in August 1976, 8 mi. north of Galax, Va., on Lawson's Farm, we called the New River Jam Site, just a stone's throw from the North Carolina border, bluegrass and blues abounded. Outdoor Music festival lovers from all parts gathered for that historic event. Stompin 76 was the bluegrass festival that made bluegrass cool and exposed it to an entire eastern nation's youth that year.

Appearing on one stage: Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Vassar Clements, Ry Cooder, John Hartford, Osborne Brothers, The Rowans, John Prine, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Doc & Merle Watson, The Dillards, Hickory Wind, New Grass Revival, David Bromberg, Red, White and Bluegrass, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Papa John Creach, Eric Weisberg and Deliverance, Star Spangled Washboard Band, Grass On The Rocks, Good Ol' Boys and Joe and Bing. 3 Days of Fun and Music, all for only $12.00!

The T-shirts list everyone one of these bands on the back. Wear it to your favorite music festival and we'll guarantee you'll make new friends.Stompers are everywhere!

Doyle Lawson's Farm mentioned herein, is not the performer, the name is a coincidence. Though the performer was part of the incredible Country Gentleman at the time, they were not booked, nor did they appear at Stompin 76.

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
~Berthold Auerbach

Stompin 76 by Silvia Hoefnagels (aka Salix Tree)

"Long long ago, my husband (who was then my boyfriend) and myself, and his brother and bro's girl went to a music festival in the mountains of Virginia. We had forgotten to bring the tent poles, so I went to the woods nearby to get branches, to which we tied the tent. Having no camera with me, I just had to draw a pic of the place. That's me in the little tent. Everyone was camped in this big cow pasture, and there was a great festival atmosphere going on."

 

 


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Stompin 76 is a registered trademark owned by Hal, 1976 - 2013. All rights reserved.
Use of logo or Stompin character, or reproduction of, is strictly prohibited.
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For mail orders or to send correspondence, please make checks to and mail to:
Hal Davidson 
18127 Bowie Mill Rd.
Rockville, MD 20855

 

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