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Subject: Re: 1970 Rockfest StevensPoint

Jesse Lane
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Date Posted: 01:26:59 08/22/12 Wed
In reply to: Russ Conder 's message, "1970 Rockfest StevensPoint" on 11:04:50 01/20/12 Fri

A friend and I probably had one of the earliest negative encounters with the renegade bikers at the Stevens Point Festival. We arrived Friday evening and found the dilapidated barn but were up in the loft getting ready to bed down for the night. We had to be careful of our footing because there were rotten planks and holes where you could fall through to the ground floor of the barn. After a while, we noticed someone else coming toward us from the other side. It was dark but I could see he was about to step into a hole in the floor. I warned him and he stopped dead in his tracks. Then I noticed he was a biker and he was holding a chain. After pausing, he walked around the hole and came over to us and menacingly ordered us to leave "his" barn. We left and set up camp elsewhere. I'll come back to the bikers in a bit. The concert was a gas; this was my first rock festival and I was amazed to see vans along a dirt road not far from the stage advertising their drug wares openly with big signs. And in the stage area, gallon jugs of "electric wine" were being passed around. I could see all sorts of drugs dissolving in the wine. Took a swig and passed it on. The music was really trippy. Everyone was friendly. I had great fun. On Saturday, I remember coming across a beautiful naked woman wandering around stoned, with a small group of hopeful but shy young men following her around. She was very happy. Someone she knew showed up and took charge of her. I don't remember when I started hearing rumors that the renegade bikers were robbing people who passed by the barn. I remember being quite concerned and trying to spread a warning to everyone I encountered to stay clear of the barn. And I do have this specific memory of standing on the hill looking down at the barn a couple hundred yards away. People had gathered to confront the bikers. Suddenly, there was a gunshot, people running away from the direction of the barn, and a scream coming from a tent encampment just past me on the hill in the same direction where my friend and I were camped. I ran back to my encampment and everyone was okay. My guess was that a renegade biker had fired a warning shot to get people to back off but the warning shot eventually hit someone in a tent up the hill. By the time I returned to my "observation post", I could see a mob had set at least one motorcycle ablaze and there were no bikers in sight. Later, when we left the festival, we saw tons of police at the entrance questioning witnesses. For years I have wondered what transpired during and after that battle and stumbled on this thread! Now, I finally have learned more details. Thanks to all who shared their experiences! Now I have added mine.

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