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Just Weeks After Woodstock, North Texas Hosted Its Own Legendary Rock Fest

ArtandSeek.net 6

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Texas International Pop Festival swept through North Texas.

The show brought acts like Janis Joplin, BB King and Led Zeppelin to what was then just the small town of Lewisville.

“Texas International Pop Festival: 50 Years Later” opens Saturday, August 17 in Denton’s UNT on the Square.

Now, a series of exhibits organized by Denton County’s Office of History and Culture will mark the festival’s anniversary.

Curator Matthew Long says it’ll include photos, artifacts and archival footage. Oral histories from attendees will also be a part of the exhibit.

For Richard Hayner, it was a Labor Day weekend to remember.

Rock fans from all over had flocked to Lewisville Lake for three memorable nights of music.

Hayner was just 16 years old, but that first night is still crystal clear in his mind.

“That night was Chicago for one thing,” he said. “I’m probably saying this because I was a little high at the time, but their sound just seemed to wrap around the audience. It got dark as they were playing, and it was just enthralling.”

Long says the festival, which was held just a few weeks after Woodstock in New York, was also noteworthy for being the first time many North Texas got a taste of the hippie lifestyle.

“There were a lot of teenagers and young men and women who really wanted to access some of that experience and had never really had that opportunity before.”

Long says plenty of people caught the counterculture bug at the festival — some for a weekend and others for life.