August Jam was a huge outdoor concert held Saturday August 10, 1974 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway outside Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States. The concert promoter was Kaleidoscope Productions and was sponsored by radio stations WAYS and WROQ The concert featured the Allman Brothers Band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Foghat, Black Oak Arkansas, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Grinderswitch, PFM and others. The Eagles were booked to play but cancelled.

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  • August Jam was a huge outdoor concert held Saturday August 10, 1974 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway outside Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States. The concert promoter was Kaleidoscope Productions and was sponsored by radio stations WAYS and WROQ The concert featured the Allman Brothers Band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Foghat, Black Oak Arkansas, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Grinderswitch, PFM and others. The Eagles were booked to play but cancelled. It was the largest concert ever held in the state of North Carolina and one of the largest in the U.S. at that time, with an estimated attendance in excess of 200,000. There were a limited amount of tickets sold prior to the concert, and when many thousands of additional fans showed up on the day of the performances, those thousands proceeded to crash the fences and rush to the infield. Many of the facilities were overwhelmed due to the crowds, and the weather did not cooperate either, producing a sporadic rain that drenched the concert goers, and turned the infield into a muddy quagmire. However, the music went on as scheduled, the fans helped each other stay moderately comfortable, and to many it turned out to be an unforgettable experience. The November 1974 issue of Circus magazine had this to say about Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's performance: "ELP - ON TOUR WITH THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS "Emerson, Lake and Palmer performed an operation on the U.S. this summer! It was heavy Brain Salad Surgery and America responded to the treatment by flocking to gigantic concert arenas from coast to coast to undergo the knives of Emerson, the pulsating percussion of Palmer, and Lake's soothing lyrics. With a road crew of 26, plus the band and friends, synthesizers, Moogs and Persian carpets, the traveling satrapy visited 16 cities and played over 10 outdoor venues. In Charlotte, North Carolina, the feedback fiends caused double-trouble with the hot boogie chefs, The Allman Brothers, in what was billed as an August Jam. The fans were so blitzed by the groups' powerhouse sets they sat dazed in their automobiles after the show and jammed Charlotte traffic for hours. The cybernetic soul band, heavier than a 747 full of tanked tourists, hopped from one gig to another with 36 tons of equipment, a true quad P.A. system, dozens of lights and an incredible array of oscillators, gongs, alternating current servos, and hydraulic lifts, plus several pairs of tailored silk coveralls for the madman of the keyboards. ELP celebrated their fourth anniversary as a group in August by releasing their live LP, 'Ladies and Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake and Palmer,' an amazing vinyl capsule of the unparalleled ELP concert experience. " I was there with a couple of friends. One of which made the front page as he was helping tear down the fence.... and we had tickets. We drove down from Dayton, OH and I remember the accelerator cable broke when we were in the mountains of TN. We got all the way there and back by tying a string to the carburetor and running it through the window. When we got there, it was total chaos and almost near riot. I remember the cops gave up trying to "control" the masses and basically stayed in the outer perimeter of the Speedway. Then it became a free for all inside. There were people walking around with ounces of pot for sale in their headbands, tents with signs "acid", "pot" and just about every drug imaginable. Of course I didn't indulge&#160 .... The Eagles were a no show but there was a band from Italy (?), "PFM" nobody heard of and they were awesome as was all of the bands. "Foghat", "Marshall Tucker", "Ozark Mountain Daredevils", "Emerson, Lake and Palmer" were next to last and blew everybody away for 3 hours, then the Allman Brothers played for 4 hours with what seemed a half hour of drum solo as intermission. It was kind of a strange mix of venue, but it worked! There were so many people, not enough johns, not enough food, no water (except from a brief downpour) and plenty of mud!! Once "the System" surrendered the Speedway and the chaos from their intervention subsided, it became the most peaceful, non-violent, atmosphere of fun, music and brotherhood I've ever experienced. Everybody got along and did help each other and basically sat back as band after band performed with very little downtime, so there wasn't really a chance for the natives to get restless. It was the best concert I've ever been to and it was an unforgettable experience. I was 19 at the time. Other bands included Grinder's Switch and Black Oak Arkansas. The minimal downtime between acts was due to a dual stage system that was set up on a parallel set of railroad tracks. The stages were essentially two flatbed rail cars. While one act was performing, the other rail car was being set up for the next act. Helicopters ferried in the bands as well as the food for the concessions. The infield of the speedway was essentially a campground with hundreds of tents amidst the massive crowd. The grandstand was also packed. The brotherhood cited in the previous entry was exemplified in one incident in which a spectator had climbed the 50 foot high fencing along the edge of the racetrack. At the top, he spread a blanket on the fence overhang and made himself at home for most of the day. Tragically, near nightfall, he fell to the ground. Two other spectators immediately set out with the fallen fan toward the medical tent set up to the left of the stage area. I was there and listened to the conversation between the gate attendant and the guys who threatened to tear down the fence. There were a lot of people eager to get in. They asked the gate attendant to go ahead and open the gate, because they were getting tired of waiting to get in. The gate attendant said that they had to get the key, so the guys waited for someone to return with a key to open the gate. Instead, the gate attendant said that the key was missing and that someone is looking for it. The guy told the attendant that they would give him until a certain time to open the gate, and if not, the gate will be torn down. When that time was up, a truck pulled up, and a couple of guys used a chain to connect the fence to a truck, then pulled the fence down. As soon as the fence came down a mob of people went through. They accused the track officials of lying about the key being lost. It was still early in the morning, as far as I can remember it was still dark out. I went with my brother, sister and her boyfriend. We sat in the stands, near the center. We still had our tickets, four of them, and my brother got all four tickets and asked me to go with him to the highway to sell our tickets to passersby, since we can get back in free. When we walked out the fence and started to walk up the drive toward the highway, a motorcycle gang drove up, looked like they had about 100 members or so. My brother and I decided to sell our tickets to the leader of that gang. He laughed and said that we had a lot of guts to go up to a very large motorcycle gang and swindle them into buying tickets when they could get in free through the fence. He talked to us for a little while and told us that they didn't come to see the concert. He said, that where ever Black Oak Arkansas plays, the Hells Angels usually shows up. Then said, the only reason they showed up, was to fight the Hells Angels. They waited outside the stadium, while my brother and I continued to the highway to sell the tickets and went back inside to sit with my sister. I recall seeing some people falling through an overhead shelter that people climbed on top of. My brother and I climbed up, but it was too itchy, so we got back down. It was the best concert I have attended. Unfortunately there's no plan to have another one there. If they hadn't told them the key was missing and went ahead and opened the gates, then the fence wouldn't had been torn down and the people would have been using their tickets to get in. I was able to get there early enough to get a seat in the stands. This kept us out of the mud. Drugs were truly everywhere and being openly hawked. ELP was amazing. They played a long set and Emerson ran between pianos, organs and other keyboards all over the stage. Off to the viewers stage left was a grand piano that had set unused until the last song. Emerson ran to it and the entire piano started rising from the stage. The seat was attached someway. When the piano was about 10 ft above the stage, it started turning end over end on a pivot with Emerson strapped on pounding away at the keys. The crowd went crazy. The Allman Brothers closed the show with a rocking performance. Sadly it was after Duane was gone, but Dicky and Gregg cooked the night away. I was a Senior in High School and went with my boyfriend and a couple friends. It was a long drive from Middle Tennessee, but we made good time until we got about 25 miles out where the roads became a parking lot the night before the concert started. People were swapping Beer for Pot and Pot for Beer between cars as we inched along. We found a spot mid-way up the grandstand. We could couldn't see who was on the stage, but the music was incredible. The incident where the guy fell from the top of the fence happened at our section. He was in a sleeping bag and couldn't reach out to grab anything when the debrie fence gave way. It was long drop to the concrete track (8-10 fence with an additional drop below the grandstand. Drugs were everywhere with people carrying big jars of pills. I have no recollection of eating, drinking or ever going to the bathroom, but I remember so many things vividly even 38 years later. Police walked around with billy sticks in black t-shirts with FUZZ in big white letters. But never saw any fights or violent behavior. Streaking with really big at that time, but at the concert it was more like "strolling" as couples holding hands walked around naked. A guy two rows below us changed from jeans to overalls there in the stands. At one point, I guess he got bored and started walking back and forth on the walkway by the track with his overalls thrown over his shoulder. Watching the chain reaction of the facial expressions on people as they saw him was pretty entertaining for us. . Black Oak Arkansas had helicopters circle around throwing out huge batches of sun visors with their name on them to the crowd. The clumps looked like they hit a bird with the individual visors twirling around like single feathers. When Ozark Mountain Dare Devils played "If You Want To Get To Heaven", people that hadn't moved for 3 hours got up and danced. Emersom, Lake & Palmer ended their show with an awesome fireworks display. At that time when concerts were really affordable, so we went to a lot of them. But I can honestly say, the August Jam was truly the Best Concert I ever attended. Well, when I got to the gate with all my friends Danny, Aaron, Kenny, Raymond and Me, Wild Bill, the fence was coming down but we had tickets. I explained to Danny that this was going to get nasty, get out of the way because they were throwing rocks and the fence was coming down! So then we went on in. We got in and we set up pretty close to the speakers, we were all in high school. It was so loud for me that I left and got in the end zone on a great big rock with a couple that had food and water. I stayed there the whole time with them. We were there!
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  • August Jam was a huge outdoor concert held Saturday August 10, 1974 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway outside Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States. The concert promoter was Kaleidoscope Productions and was sponsored by radio stations WAYS and WROQ The concert featured the Allman Brothers Band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Foghat, Black Oak Arkansas, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Grinderswitch, PFM and others. The Eagles were booked to play but cancelled.
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