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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Byron in Peach County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Second Atlanta International Pop Festival

 
 
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
1. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker
Inscription. In the 1960s, as American culture changed rapidly, new forms of music and performance emerged, including large outdoor rock festivals. From July 3-5, 1970, the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival, one of the largest such events anywhere in the world during that era, took place in a field 600 yards west of here. Over thirty musical acts performed, including rock icon Jimi Hendrix playing to the largest American audience of his career, and Macon’s Allman Brothers Band on their launching pad to national fame. Officials estimated that the festival drew several hundred thousand young people to Byron that weekend. Organized by renowned Atlanta concert promoter Alex Cooley, it remains one of the largest public gatherings in state history.
 
Erected 2012 by Georgia Historical Society, the Byron Area Historical Society, the Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association, the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House, and Hittin’ the Note. (Marker Number 111-2.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
 
Location. 32° 40.1′ N, 83° 42.517′ W. Marker is in Byron, Georgia, in Peach County. Marker is on U.S. 41 0.2 miles south of High Point
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
2. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker
US Highway 41 is on the left
Way, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. The marker stands at the Middle Georgia Raceway. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4015 US Highway 41 North, Byron GA 31008, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Flint Electric Membership Corporation (approx. 6.8 miles away); Boeing B-1B Lancer (approx. 8.8 miles away); 19th Air Refueling Wing Monument (approx. 8.8 miles away); The Medal of Honor (approx. 8.8 miles away); POW/MIA Memorial (approx. 8.8 miles away); William Bartram Trail (approx. 10.1 miles away); Colonial Trading Path (approx. 10.2 miles away); a different marker also named William Bartram Trail (approx. 10.2 miles away).
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
3. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
The marker, under an appropriate cover, prior to the dedication.
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
4. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
A part of the large crowd awaiting the marker dedication
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
5. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
Tim Thornton, the owner of Middle Georgia Raceway (site of the festival), served as master of ceremonies for the dedication.
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
6. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
Brian Williams, Georgia Historical Society Communications Coordinator, explained the Society's marker program.
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
7. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
Marj Liaguno, from the Byron Area Historical Society, reminisced about the festival and the process of obtaining the marker.
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
8. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
Byron Mayor Larry Collins, who was a young ice cream vendor at the original festival, explained the site and locations, including that a "world class" liquor still stood about where the marker stands today.
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
9. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
Alex Cooley, the Atlanta area's best known concert promoter, created the Atlanta International Pop Festival at a race track near Atlanta on the July 4th weekend in 1969. This was more than a month before Woodstock. In 1970 he moved the Festival to Byron. He later created the Texas International Pop Festival.
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
10. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
Tim Thornton and Mayor Larry Collins presented Alex Cooley with a Key to the City of Byron, and named him the "Baron of Byron." (In 1970 many Byron citizens wanted to run Cooley out of town.)
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
11. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
Ready to unveil the marker; the cord is held by Thornton, Liaguno, Williams, Mayor Collins, and Cooley.
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
12. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker
Unveiling the marker
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
13. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
The marker unveiled!
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 16, 2012
14. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker Dedication
The Middle Georgia Raceway, site of the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival, in in the distance. (The low "hill" is the banking of the raceway.)
Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker dedication image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, September 15, 2012
15. Second Atlanta International Pop Festival Marker dedication
The Allman Brothers Band was based in nearby Macon, and played at the Festival just as their career was taking off. Many at the dedication remember them well.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 15, 2012, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 823 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 15, 2012, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on September 16, 2012, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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