Stanley Baker – Bardney Music Festival in Lincolnshire – 1972


One of the organisers of this event – in the middle of rural Lincolnshire –  was none other than  film star Stanley Baker.  Not one of his better ventures as it turned out – it was held over the Spring Bank Holiday Weeked at the end of May 1972 – we always think that is a weekend and week that can usually be relied on to give some good sunny and warm weather.


Sadly that was not the case this time as the event coincided with torrential rain and high winds


Personally I cannot remember this event at all but a friend of mine can. It seems, from what I have managed to glean,  that Stanley Baker was there for all of the FOUR days

Bardney is a village in the heart of Lincolnshire East of Lincoln. Tupholme is a hamlet nearby – and Tupholme Airfield is a former RAF wartime base. Not sure but I wonder if the event took place on the disused airfield – however with the description used of  festival site as a ‘muddy marsh’  maybe not.


Stanly Baker in Bardney Lincolnshire


Early in May 1972, with the festival less than three weeks away, Stanley Baker and Lord Harlech flew to Bardney by helicopter from London. ABOVE PICTURE

The Vicar of Bardney, the Rev Peter Clarke, receives a £10,000 bond from Lord Harlech against any damage caused by his company’s pop festival just outside Bardney. Also pictured from left: Festival director Barry Spikings, actor Stanley Baker and land owner Bill Hardy




The Festival featured the Spencer Davis Group, Lindisfarne, the Beach Boys, Genesis, Sly and the Family Stone, Slade, Faces (with lead singer Rod Stewart), Helen Reddy, Strawbs, Vinegar Joe (with lead singers Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer), Sha Na Na, Don McLean, Joe Cocker, Status Quo and a host of others introduced by John Peel and Whispering Bob Harris.


Bardney 2


At its peak, there were 50,000 people there – in torrential winds and rain!


Bardney Festival Line up


It was amazing that the festival even happened in the first place as there was a lot of opposition from officials and locals who wanted to ban it.

The biggest threat turned out to be the weather. The night before the festival was due to begin, the site was battered by gale force winds which smashed up the stage and wrecked marquees and fan’s tents.


Music Festival Bardney 1972


Organisers worked through the night to ensure the show would go on but the weather was dreadful.

Twenty-four hours into the event, one local Newspaper  reported: “The mammoth pop festival site is a muddy marsh. There has been rain, cold and high winds. But nothing can stop the fans pouring in.”

By the time the music started, several hundred fans had been treated for exposure – many fans had arrived on the site already exhausted from their long trek from Lincoln.

Actor Stanley Baker, of Zulu fame, one of the leading lights behind the festival, was cheered by around 40,000 when he followed Slade on to the stage to thank the fans for turning up and behaving themselves.

Many local Bardney businesses admitted they had had a bumper weekend and apart from just a few exceptions, it seemed fans had been well behaved.

Another venture for Stanley Baker – he along with others purchased British Lion Films and Shepperton Studios – and also he financed films not all doing anywhere near as well as Zulu. It does seem that his venture into the business world was not a success.

Maybe he should have stayed with acting – he did continue acting of course but ended up in making some inferior films because he needed the money.

 Then of course he died at a young age leaving a wife and children.

He made some memorable films – I think that in the last day or two – or maybe still to come  - Talking Pictures are showing ‘Hell Drivers’ one of his early ones – and it will be in a restored version.




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