Movie Review: McCrea 1971

 

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Music fans around the world have heard of popular rock festivals like Woodstock, Monterey Pop Festival, and the Isle of Wight Festival. But what most people are probably not aware of is that the little town of McCrea, Louisiana was the site for a much more ambitious festival in 1971. That festival is the focus of McCrea 1971, a 33-minute documentary directed by Nick Brilleaux and Scott Caro.

The two directors researched everything imaginable about the Celebration of Life festival, a rock concert that was supposed to take place over an 8 day span in the small south Louisiana town of McCrea. The festival was set up and was to feature an amazing lineup of bands, including Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys, Ike & Tina Turner, Miles Davis, and Sly & the Family Stone. But nothing seemed to work out as the promoters had planned. The festival only featured a handful of bands over a three day period and has been largely forgotten.

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The documentary is short but very well made. It covers how the promoters set up the event and booked bands and the high hopes they had for the festival. And they also cover the hardships suffered by the concert goers including the weather (Louisiana summers = hot & full of mosquitoes) and the dangerous Atchafalaya River.

McCrea 1971 is a great documentary that I highly recommend. It will especially appeal to music fans obviously but also to fans of forgotten events in American history. So often do things happen that are never remembered and it is documentaries like this that keep memories alive. It will also appeal to people interested in Louisiana’s rich history as it just adds more to this great state. The movie can be purchased for online viewing here. And check out the trailer below!

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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