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Subject: Re: Stevens Point, Wisconsin (?) Rock festival 1970

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Date Posted: 21:20:14 04/08/07 Sun
In reply to: gt bob 's message, "Re: Stevens Point, Wisconsin (?) Rock festival 1970" on 11:43:42 04/08/07 Sun

Well I've been woundering about the stories I herd back then for a long time, so I spent the last few hours tracking it down. The following also answers the questions of when and the name of the festival :

Steven Point Journal Monday, June 29, 1970
Authorities have taken
23 members of a Chicago
area cycle gang into custody
in connection with
violence that broke out
Sunday morning at the
People's Fair rock festival
near lola.
Three other persons were
arrested Sunday on disorderly
conduct and theft
charges. Of the 26 arrested
Sunday, 19 were men and
seven were women.
Portage County Dist. Atty.
William A. Bablitch and Waupaca
County Dist. Atty. Richard
Johnson were discussing possible
disposition of the changes
this morning and arraignments
are expected later today.
Three persons were taken to
St. Michael's Hospital Sunday
with gunshot wounds following
the violence, which broke out
after confrontations over a
number of rapes and strong-arm
robberies by the cycle gang,
Portage County Sheriff Nick
Check said.
None of the shooting victims
were seriously hurt. Shot were
Kevin Henry, 19, Downers
Grove, 111., and Frank Rees, 21,
Chicago. Both were reported in
satisfactory condition at St.
Michael's Hospital this morning.
The third victim, Michael Mc-
Laurerin, 26, Madison, was
taken to the Madison Veterans
Administration Hospital.
Check speculated that the cycle
gang members involved in
the shootings may be charged
with injury by conduct regardless
of human life and that
all will face concealed weapons
charges. Some drug charges
may also grow out of the
The cycle gang also attacked
one rockfest patron, Michael
Gradford, 20, Evanston, HI.,
with a chain. He suffered head
injuries and is in satisfactory
condition at St. Michael's Hospital.
Check said he went to the
stage following the violence
and asked for witnesses to the
violence for cooperation. Check
said cooperation has been excellent
so far and that many
witnesses have come forward.
The incident spoiled the festival
for many patrons and
triggered an early exodus from
the festival grounds. By midafternoon
Sunday, about half
of the estimated 45,000 festivalgoers
had left.
Music continued, • however,
past midnight. There were about
3,000 or 4,000 remaining at the
heavily littered site this morning.
Peppered with minor gunshot wounds, an unidentified
rockfester awaits transportation to St Michael's
Hospital from the People's Fair. (Staff
Festival spokesman Fritz von
Buchholtz said the cycle gangs
posed as part of the festival security
force and demanded
money from patrons at the gate.
Small groups of bikers were
also stationed at the back stage
entrance, keeping unauthorized
persons out of the area.
"They had nothing to do with
the festival whatsoever," Von
Buchholtz said. "We asked them
many times to leave but they
threatened us when we tried
to run them out."
Von Buchholtz said the cycle
gangs roamed through the
woods, pretending to be festival
security men and shaking down
"Rather than allow people to
get hurt by the bikers, we opened
the gates Sunday morning
to let people in for free," said
Von Buchholtz.
The festival was peaceful until
the Sunday morning violence.
Dr. Steve Savran, Madison, who
coordinated medical facilities
for the event, said, "There were
no problems we couldn't handdie."
He said his staff treated an
expected run of minor cuts,
burns and bad drug trips during
the festival. Medical authorities
kept festival patrons aware
of what drugs were likely to
cause bad trips through announcements
from the stage and
a sheet posted at'the medical
One person was killed and
three injured in accidents near
the festival grounds.
The death resulted from a
cycle crash in Waupaca County
at about 3:20 Saturday afternoon.
John Tomei, 25, Waukegan,
HI., suffered fatal head injuries
when his cycle collided with another
cycle driven on Highway
161 near the rockfest site by
Mark J. Lehrer. 19, Appleton.
Both were apparently eastbound
when Lehrer turned lert
into a driveway and Tomei ran
into his cycle. Tomei was not
wearing the helmet required by
state law.
Lehrer is reported in satisfactory
condition at Riverside Hospital,
An 18-year-old Davenport,
Iowa, youth suffered severe
head injuries when he fell off
the trunk of a car at about 10
a.m. Sunday on County Trunk
T in the Town of New Hope.
Portage County sheriffs deputies
said Terry Morgan was
riding on the trunk of an auto
driven by Eugene Benge, Davenport,
when he fell and his
head struck the blacktop. He
was one of tour passengers riding
outside the vehicle.
Morgan is in serious condition
at St Joseph's Hospital in
Joseph T. Stephens HI, 24,
Waukegan, HI., suffered head
injuries when he was thrown
from his cycle at about 10 a.m.
Saturday on Highway 161 In the
Town of New Hope just north of
The cycle apparently failed
to make a curve and left the
road. Stephens was discharged
from St. Michael's Hospital on
A St Paul woman was rushed
to St Michael's from the rockfest
grounds in the early morning
hours Sunday to give birth
to a premature baby girl that
died this morning. The mother
was Mrs. Diaime Thorens.
St. Michael's Hospital treated
eight acute drug cases during
the three-day event One case
of possible pneumonia was reported.
Although the crowd exceeded
expectations of rockfest promoters.

(Continued from page 1J
promoters would break even.
He said that perhaps half the
crowd sneaked in free, despite
ettcet and heavy security measonal
"Our security people had so
much trouble with the cycle
gangs that they didn't have
enough time to patrol the perimeters
of the cite," Von Buchholtz
Cbcxk has .disputed the contention
that many people got
in for free and expects that the
promoters raked-in a hefty profit
Check said that 100 to 150 cars
were impounded during the
rockiest for illegal parking on
highways. It will cost violators
ISO to recover the cars.
During Sunday's violence, «he
crowd attacked several motorcycles
and reportedly burned a
few. There were also reports of
rock tlirowing at the retreating
cycle gang.
Three squad cars were damaged
in a chain-reaction mishap
as they chased a truck
carrying cycle gang member*
near the rockfest site.
The truck was later stopped
and the gang members taken
into custody at gunpoint

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Subject Author Date
Re: Stevens Point, Wisconsin (?) Rock festival 1970gt bob17:56:18 04/09/07 Mon
Re: Stevens Point, Wisconsin (?) Rock festival 1970Jody Hurrish (Jody)09:15:55 08/31/13 Sat

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