Record Mirror 20 May 1978
"A free festival in Oxford ('Mayfly') was first held in, I believe, 1973 and over the next decade took place intermittently. In 1978 it took place on the Sunday & Monday of the late May bank holiday weekend & as such had no connection with the traditional May Day festivities in Oxford, being a tow not a gown activity in the socially divided city that Oxford was at that time. It was held at the Oxpens, a recreation ground off the Oxpens Road where the River Thames forms its eastern boundary, Oxford Ice Rink is next to the site.
I attended the event on Sunday May 28 1978 with a school friend, it started at midday and continued to about 9pm.
Those appearing were:
Here & Now
Otway & Barrett
Tone Deaf & The Idiots
Spear & Jackson
Dave Parrett & Dave Lamb
It was a great spot for a music event and that weekend was blessed with warm sunny weather. I do not know who the organisers were but it would have needed the support of Oxford City Council to go ahead. Some Hellís Angels turned up (no idea which Chapter as there wasnít one in Oxford, possibly Windsor?) intent on causing trouble, which demonstrated to a callow youth like me that free music events could have their problems.
For the Monday we were promised:
Acme Sewage Company
Flat House Hill Band
In the event, because of the heavy atmosphere caused by the bikers, only Acme Sewage played. I do remember Lol Coxhill turning up but he didnít play, the organisers then decided to end the event.
It was attended by few thousand people Ė perhaps 4,000 Ė on the Sunday, with lots of coming and going during the day. Not a festival in the sense of officially having a campsite but a few people pitched tents towards the river and stayed overnight. All this is from memory, my diary and the flyer Iíve kept, a scan of which I attach."
Comment and flyer posted at the UK Festivals site
by Mark Hathaway
NME 10 June 1978