On August 16, 1969, a young psychedelic rock musician named David Bowie took the stage at the Free Festival, held at Croydon Road Recreational Ground in Beckenham, England. Bowie had helped organize the festival in his hometown, in hopes of raising funds for the Beckenham Arts Lab. Attendees of the festival recall a well-attended and peaceful event, with vendors peddling typical festival fare, Bowie's then-girlfriend cooking burgers in a wheelbarrow, and a variety of musical offerings, including a reggae version of Bowie's then-unreleased "Space Oddity
," filling the air.
David Bowie immortalized the event in his song "Memory of a Free Festival," a light, trippy tune that waxes nostalgic about rainbows, clouds, and soft green grass.