Thanks to the IBMA for inducting STOMPIN 76 into the
BLUEGRASS MUSIC HALL OF FAME, Owensboro, KY
Fri-Sun, August 6, 7, 8 1976 8 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 Davidson 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:
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Doc & Merle Watson
New Grass Revival
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!
STOMPIN 76 ROLL-UP POSTER 18" x 24" Glossy 100 lb. stock
2 for $15 incl. S/H
Exact duplicate of the Original Vinyl UV coated Bumper Sticker 11" x 3"
1 BUMPER STICKER $5.00 3 Stickers $10.00 (give one to a friend) (Incl. S/H)
Fruit of the Loom 100% Cotton. Bands listed on back
incl S/H( $24.00 XXL, $26.00 3XL)
WHITE Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL KHAKI, POWDER BLUE, A S/H Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Shipped USPS Mail within 48 hours.
"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. Besides Las Vegas, 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
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 MacIntyre Hollinshead
$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 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
I'm glad I have the opportunity, 42 years later, to thank you for putting together Stompin' 76. Although the craziness and party atmosphere certainly have their places in my memories, above all else was the great music. My friends and I saw nearly every minute of every act, leaving the stage area just long enough to scarf down some food and fill up the coolers. We were amazed that you were able to get all the musicians in and out of there. Thank you! Brian Yoklavich
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
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.