Glimpses of the Rock Festival (1970)

Folks in tents at the 1970 Buffalo Party Rock festval
Folks in tents at the 1970 Buffalo Party Rock festival

In the summer of 1970, hippies descended on Eatonville. It was heralded as the Buffalo Party Convention, but it was far from a political convention. It was a mini rock festival at Buffalo Don Murphy’s farm.

To read more on the rock festival, just click HERE.

Here are several shots of the event, in living color. You can spot the tents, the busses, the pond and the stunning Mount Rainier backdrop. What seems to be missing is the music.

Photos courtesy of Michael Lew at Sky River Lives.

Click in images to enlarge.

Buffalo Party - Mount Rainier in the distance (1970)
Buffalo Party - Mount Rainier in the distance (1970)









Rock Festival comes to Eatonville (1970). Don Murphy's field, Rainier in the background
Rock Festival comes to Eatonville (1970). Don Murphy's field, Rainier in the background

38 thoughts on “Glimpses of the Rock Festival (1970)”

  1. did anyone know the man that fell to his death by the waterfall..does anyone know was their a woman with him when this happen back at this festival

  2. Over the decades, I almost forgot all about this cool festival. I was living in Tacoma at the time. Over the years following, I returned to where I was from, southeastern PA. But in 1978, I moved to Orlando, FL for the next 35 years. However, over the years I’ve returned to WA for vacations, primarily out on the Olympic Peninsula. Some day I,d like to revisit Eatonville, to relive some of those crazy memories. Now, I’m in the process of moving to Salinas, Ecuador, on the Southern Pacific Ocean.

    1. When you finally make it back to Eatonville, let me know. 🙂 I don’t think things have changed too much. Have fun in Salinas!

  3. Having been born & raised in Tacoma,I was in my senior year at Stadium High School when my friends @ I descended upon Eatonville. Being local, this was one of the better small festivals. Between “stoners” falling off of the Water Falls, & stoning the Buffalo on LSD, this had a different feel than the larger festivals I attended later. There was plenty of nudity, & the abundance of & variety of psychedelics was unfathomable. My friends & I decided that LSD in conjunction with Peyote seemed to work the best for visuals. “FEVER TREE” was my favorite band, a real class act. Overall, I had really good time, good memories !

    1. Hi there!

      I’m currently working on a documentary about the festival. If you’re in the area, I would love to interview about the event! 🙂 Diane

      1. Hi Diane. We road motorcycles to the festival from our commune in Central Oregon. Many many police and roadbloacks, batons and mace, but they finally left and allowed people in. Helicopters flying overhead dropping leaflets, so many psychedelics it was unreal (and was!) great memories to be sure. We’d been to previous in Sultan and Skyranch, but the Buffalo Party was tops.

      2. My mom and dad and me had a food truck there! It was the big white truck ! It was called the Chuck Wagon!

  4. Considering its been 46 years since the “Buffalo Party”, my best recollection is only partial.I did meet one of my dearest & best friends there,& we remained friends until his accidental death in a car accident.Obviously being a Rock Festival, the drugs were plentiful,& the variety was amazing.Myself,I was partial to Psychedelics & spent the entire weekend sampling, so to speak.To me the highlight, as far as the music was concerned, was probably seeing “Fever Tree”. As it turned out it was the only time I was able to see them & they were one of the great San Francisco bands.I saw a lot of things that wouldn’t probably be appropriate for mentioning here, but I had one hell of a good time! Looking back, this was the best party of my Senior Year.What a send off for the Graduating Class of Tacoma’s Stadium High School! I’m sure that most of the people who attended this event, still have fond memories.After all, how many people have seen Buffalo stoned on Acid ?

    1. My memories at this point are sketchy at best. I remember a few highlights, bands mostly. Like I said in my post,a lot of LSD was available, and I definitely took my more than my fair share.Good luck with with your research.

      1. Kurt, I have similar haziness when it comes to the festival. Once we got our camp set up we all scattered to wander about with hands outstretched for 30 minutes and then meet back at camp. When we met back up we each dumped whatever we had gotten into a gallon jug of Paisano wine, shook it up and passed the bottle around until it was gone. Acid, mescaline, cocaine, reds, yellows, hash, you name it. Quite a witches brew and definitely the best way to begin that adventure.

        1. I remember drinking deep from a jug of “ELECTRA” while tripping around in front of the stage. I danced until I fell to the grass, and watched the most psychedelic fireworks show I have witnessed.

  5. I went with a couple of friends and met up with a few other couples. We went down to the creek, took off our clothes. The couples took some psychedelics and had food poisoning. The music highlight was James Cotton. I remember Scott McKenzie singing San Francisco (wear flowers in your hair) A lot of drugs, nudity. I have pictures

  6. Hi Diane,
    My husbands brother went to the “festival” I will ask him if he wants to give you any information.

  7. Question for those documenting this or who were there, I have a question. I have had 5 different people who have claimed to have been there that swear a band that was one of the “unlisted due to contracts” performers were The Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd shows no record of it on official appearances, but people swear they played there.
    Any truth to these stories?

    1. Sorry. I don’t think so. I even talked to the guy who booked the gigs and he didn’t mention Pink Floyd.

      1. Hi Diane,

        I was at the festival and have a few photos. For me this festival was the beginning of the end of the peace & love ideals of the hippy movement. The drug influence was getting ugly and dangerous, the disrespect for the property and land owner was unbelievable, and concern for mutual safety disregarded. I’ll never forget watching guys throwing beer bottles at the crowd.

          1. Hi Diane, Yes, I have the time for an interview and have a few photos to share. I can also put you in touch with a couple of friends that were with me at the event. When do you want to do the interview? We can meet for coffee or do it over the phone. You are welcome to borrow the photos or I can send you the images.


  8. I went twice, but didn’t spent the night. Once with a banker/sheep farmer/stoner and my mother. He told me to put his baggy of pot in my underpants as we approached police while inching along the road in his antique farm truck. The second time with high school friends. I was 16 and lived in the Gig Harbor area.

    A memory that stands out is the rowdy motorcycle gang that had fenced off a prime area with their bikes. They were abusing a mostly naked girl. And during the traditional candle/match lighting, one of them fired a pistol into the night sky.

    I vaguely recall something about bands having trouble getting there and using (or talk about) a helicopter.

  9. Got ripped off there big time. I brought 5 24 cases of beer and sold 3 of them so I could get the other 2 free. I sold them and stashed the money in 2 places and the beer in my car. I went to watch a couple of band and came back to a broken car window and my tent ransacked for everything of value including my sleeping bags. It put a damper on my weekend but I enjoyed the magic on stage.So if you ripped me off, can you afford to repay me, I am still broke

    1. I’m sorry you had a bad experience. But, if you’re in town and want to be part of the documentary, I’ll buy you a beer! 🙂

  10. Hi Diane…
    I’ve been following your site and on your mailing list since you first posted I believe. I posted about some of the music I saw. Or that I could remember. I am in the area for awhile, and I and my best buddy, who still lives in McMillin were there with a few other friends. I’ve talked to him about your project and we agree it would be fun to talk with you if you are still looking for interviews. He’s got a pretty good memory for past events, and between us we can tell some good stories of our experience. It was a fantastic event in a wonderful time!
    All the best,
    I can also be reached at 707-813-4816

    1. Would this be mama chellys Chuckee by chance? I didn’t go to festival, but can’t wait to see this documentary!

  11. Went with buddies all stationed at mcchord AFB. ONLY GROUP I remember is Pacific Gas – Electric. Am I thinking of the same festival?

  12. Two buddies and I, all from Kansas, got in to the whole thing for free plus free meals to install sketchy electrical, build booths and help set up scaffolding, etc. Once the party got started we kicked back, feeding our munchies with raspberries. Good times!

  13. How could I forget this ! It was my birthday weekend,we hitched from Portland & got a ride with an older man in a panel by the time we got there it was packed! Took some orange sunshine(wow) my 1st reds ,had a blast . Oh sweet memories.

  14. I was there for 3 days. A guy was walking around the entire weekend yelling “Mary Shrump”. I’ve always wondered who Mary Shrump was and whatever happened to her. Anyone know Mary Shrump? Dean 425-345-0290

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