The Story of the 1970 Eatonville Rock Festival



Eatonville Rock Festival

The event brought in between 10 to 30,000 thousand to the Flying M Ranch for a rock concert. It was hotly contested at the time. “The Buffalo Party Convention and Pig Roast at Eatonville during the Fourth of July weekend was ruled illegal. With the arrival of thousands of rock fans and musical aggregations, the festival was held under the guise of a picnic. How can that happen? How is it possible for persons to willfully violate laws and get away with it?” (John Martin of The Daily Chronicle, July 16, 1970)

Far Out Facts

How well do you know your Buffalo Rock facts? Did you know . . .

  • The Buffalo Party did become a real political party. They weren’t long lived, but were probably more well known for their rock festivals than political power.
  • Six members of the Buffalo Party were tried after the festival, along with Buffalo Don Murphy. They were all accused of “assisting and furthering the holding of the festival in violation of a court order against it.”
  • Thirty-five sheriff’s deputies and Sheriff Carl Peterson were at he site to enforce the court injunction banning the event. State troopers were standing by to assist. Bands still showed up and well as people. The Seattle PI wrote, “The runaway-buffalo event hardly looked cancelled.”
  • One man died during the event, when he slipped and fell from the nearby falls. For years his body was never identified. But if affected one of the men to attended him. “It led me to a career in EMS and have been a Paramedic my whole adult life.”
  • Some of the music originally lined up for the event included Chuck Berry, Canned Heat, Muddy Waters, Rockin Foo, and Van Morrison.



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