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Newport Pop Festival 1968

Newport Pop Festival 1969

There were two separate events staged in the late 1960s that are commonly referred to as the "Newport Pop Festival." The first was called the Newport Pop Festival, held at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California on the weekend of August 3–4, 1968, was the first music concert ever to have more than 100,000 paid attendees. The second event was originally billed as "Newport 69," and was held over the three-day weekend of June 20–22, 1969 in Northridge, California at Devonshire Downs, and had a total attendance estimated at 200,000.

The latter event was organized by Mark Robinson, who was one of the three promoters of the original Newport Pop Festival in 1968. The other two promoters of the '68 event were Gary R. Schmidt and his father Al Schmidt. Al was an entrepreneurial businessman who helped with the money and licensing. There was a brief lawsuit between the two Schmidts and Robinson just prior to the "Newport 69" show, which the Schmidts had declined to be involved in because of the cost of the acts. The entire band budget for the '68 show was under $50,000, while Robinson paid Jimi Hendrix alone $50,000 for the '69 event. This was an amount of money unheard of at that time for a rock act. The '68 show made money and the '69 show did not. The lawsuit was over trade names and, within the last few days before the '69 show, the court ordered that Robinson had to use "not affiliated with the Newport Pop Festival" disclaimers in advertising. Otherwise, he would not have been able to stage a "Newport 70" show using that name.