Seattle Pop Festival 1969

Seattle Pop Festival

July 1969

The inaugural Seattle Pop Festival brought an all-star lineup to thousands of attendees for three days in July 1969. Woodinville was a part of music history before there was Woodstock.

Seattle Pop Festival

Forgotten Festival.

Long before the legendary Woodstock Festival etched its name in the annals of rock history, there was a lesser-known but equally iconic gathering in a place called Woodinville. It was the summer of 1969 when the sleepy town of Woodinville, located in Washington state, played host to a momentous event: the inaugural Seattle Pop Festival. In July of that year, a diverse and electrifying array of thousands converged upon the picturesque landscape, setting the stage for an all-star line-up that would echo through the ages.

The festival drew an estimated 50,000–70,000 attendees. One of the first music events, Seattle Pop, employed The Black Panthers as security guards rather than police or off-duty personnel.

Forgotten Festivals
Woodinville’s rural charm was momentarily disrupted as a wave of music enthusiasts descended upon the area, eager to be part of something extraordinary. The Seattle Pop Festival, with its promise of transcendental music experiences, drew crowds from all corners, mirroring the zeitgeist of the late ’60s when music was as much a cultural phenomenon as a form of entertainment.
Seattle Pop Festival
The Festival Line Up

Led Zeppelin
Stole the Show.

The festival’s line-up was nothing short of spectacular, featuring an eclectic mix of artists who were making waves in the music world. A combination of well-known performers and local bands from the Pacific Northwest made up the Seattle Pop lineup. There were 26 bands and musicians that played throughout the festival. The most eagerly awaited performances were The Doors, Chuck Berry, The Byrds, and The Ike & Tina Turner Revue; however, Led Zeppelin, who were new to the scene, stole the show. It was a time when rock ‘n’ roll was in the midst of a seismic shift, with new sounds and styles emerging, and established legends pushing the boundaries of their craft.

Led Zeppelin

As festival-goers reveled in the sonic tapestry that unfolded on stage, they were unwittingly part of history in the making. Although the Seattle Pop Festival may not have achieved the same level of notoriety as Woodstock, its significance in the evolution of rock music is undeniable. It served as a prelude to the transformative ’70s, a time when music became a powerful force for cultural change.

So, before Woodstock’s iconic mud and music became synonymous with an era, it was Woodinville that set the stage for the Summer of ’69 and an unforgettable chapter in rock history. The Seattle Pop Festival, like a hidden gem in the Pacific Northwest, reminds us that some of the most legendary moments are born in unexpected places, and their echoes continue to resonate through the years.