Grateful Dead

York Farm - April 26, 1970

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York Farm

April 26, 1970

Poynette, WI US

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)


Sound Storm Festival - setlist incomplete - order uncertain

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Joined: Jun 14 2007
Fire in Heaven

York Farm - April 26, 1970 Five stars not enough for this one!
Just as the Dead were tuning up, there was an aerial bombardment from a monoplane plowing furrows like a speed boat in blue sky - I swear I saw him (Kesey?) lean out the window and give the peace sign!
Multi-colored peaces of paper fluttering into the trees to the NE. Everybody was waiting for instructions, looking at the Dead, who were looking at the trees.
A female voice off mike said something like, "go ahead and get the blotters - they won't start playing until you get the blotters," like you won't miss anything...
Jerry & Pigpen kind of nodded, and the blotters were retrieved.
Lovelight came early (so did I), and I remember Pigpen grunting, and Jerry tilting the red SG (I could swear it had the Bigsby tailpiece, but it's not in the photos) and ripples of paisley or something with those Blue Bland horn riffs. Everybody took their hands out of their pockets...
The Other One appeared early on its own, and later as part of "That's It For The Other One."
They must have played every song they knew - 4-5 hours - Dark Star at sunset -St. Stephen caused Turquoise Navajo rug/Tibetan mandala diamonds and triangles.
Very dry and dusty - water from tanker truck(s), which ran dry and made a run for a refill. When the truck returned, the driver hit the air horn with a syncopated synchronistic "Honk-Honk" - right in time w/the jam.
My friend Laurel said she saw Kesey and was sure he vibed at her that he "wanted" her. He wants everybody, Laurel, but then, everybody wants you, anyway...
After the Dead, Kesey ("everybody light a match!") consulted the oracle and got "Fire in the Heavens - Possession in Great Measure." I forget which hexagram # that is.
That meant either something really great - or we would be busted for possession (in great measure). I'll have to check Confucius' commentary.

Joined: Jun 14 2007
Sit down! Stand up!

Oh yeah - I remember people were getting up to dance, stretch, or gawk. People behind them yelled at them to Sit Down! They yelled back, "Stand Up!"
This went on for a minute or so, till Phil got on the mike and said (mockingly whining), "Stand Up! Sit Down! Do what you want!" which got applause.

Olompali's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Here's more pix of the day!
Joined: Jun 9 2010
The whole story about this show

A long article on the Sound Storm festival in Poynette and the Dead's performance, with lots of photos, is online here:,50344

(Wisconsin Magazine of History, spring 2010)

No tapes have been found, unfortunately.

Joined: Mar 20 2008

I helped set up the stage for this rock festival. It was the first time I saw the Grateful Dead play. Can't say I understood their importance yet. But, it was different. Wasn't until I heard the "Live Dead" album that I got it.

Joined: Jun 14 2007
Wisconsin Magazine of History article about the festival.

Thanks to Olompali for links to the pix, to Bob Pulling for taking the pix, and to miedmonds for the link to the Wisconsin Magazine of History article. I figured out that you can download the whole issue as a .pdf by clicking the "Download" button. That's the best way to read it.

Memories jogged. Minneapolis's Sorry Muthas played (Friday Night?)
Papa John Kolstad still gigs around the Twin Cities

It wasn't a fixed-wing plane, but a helicopter? Sheesh, hope I'm never called as a witness.
The article says, "Although he received second billing, Ken Kesey did not actually attend." The guy that threw the I Ching after the Dead played sure sounded like him. Whatever - he's always with us.

Thanks to The Golden Freak, promoter Pete Obranovich and landowner Irene York, who threw caution to the winds to make the gig happen. We overuse the word "epic," but that weekend lives up to the billing.

Was that Pete doing the Neal Cassady-style raps on and off mike all weekend, and following us out of the grounds Sunday night? Whoever it was, thanks for the memories!

hockey_john's picture
Joined: Aug 25 2012
from jerry site

1.Cryptical Envelopment >
2.Drums >
3.The Other One
4.Dark Star >
5.Saint Stephen >
6.The Eleven >
7.Turn On Your Lovelight
8.Death Don't Have No Mercy
9.Alligator >


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York Farm - April 26, 1970