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Amougies – European Music Revolution

A film by Jean-Noël Roy & Jérôme Laperrousaz

Organized by Actuel and the Byg Records, the Amougies festival took place in October 1969, two months after Woodstock. The prospect of this first French pop festival and of the great hippie gathering that is on the horizon is most unpopular. Initially planned in the park of Saint-Cloud and then on the lawn of Reuilly in Paris, as evidenced by several variants of posters announcing the event, the Ministry of the Interior eventually prohibited it on French territory.

The event will last from 24 to 28 October in the Belgian village of Amougies, near the French border with a weather worthy of that of Woodstock. Less folk and more free jazz, the festival welcomes 300 musicians the time of 60 hours of concerts, introduced by Pierre Lattès and Frank Zappa who invites himself on stage with a dozen musicians, including Archie Shepp and Pink Floyd.

Initially named “Festival Actuel Pop & Free”, this five-day festival has remained in memories like that of Amougies, as already designated the film dedicated to it. The event is covered by Jérôme Laperrousaz who interrupts the editing of his first images of Continental Circus to film the festival with Jean-Noël Roy. Two films are made: Amougies – Music Power and Amougies – European Music Revolution , announced as “two free films on a forbidden festival!”, now called the” first European pop festival”.

Programmed in the spring of 1970 in some Parisian venues in Lausanne and Belgium, the two parts of Amougies are quickly withdrawn from the circuit following a complaint from Pink Floyd, the rights have not been negotiated with the musicians. The ephemeral distribution of the film becomes almost invisible and makes its French poster a rare document.

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