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Allman Brothers – Schaefer Music Festival

Allman Brothers – Schaefer Music Festival

Allman Brothers performance picture from 1971 at the Schaefer Music Festival.  While this picture is taken at a performance in 1971, the actual festival started in 1967.  During 1967 through the early 70s, the F & M Schaefer Brewing Co. sponsored concerts in Central Park. The concerts offered something for everyone. At $2.00 for first come/first serve orchestra seats, the shows were popular and usually sold out.

Hundreds would spend the day in line at the Wollman Rink to socialize and get the best seats.  Furthermore, they perform on Wednesday July 21st in the 7:00 & 9:30 P.M. slot which also includes the band Cowboy.  Meanwhile, photographer Jeffrey Mayer captures the band live. Since there really is no live footage from the Scaefer Music Festival, below is a video of the band at Fillmore East performing – Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ – 9/23/1970

The Setlist for Schaefer Festival – 7/21/71

Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell cover)
Trouble No More (Muddy Waters cover)
Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’
Done Somebody Wrong (Elmore James cover)
One Way Out (Sonny Boy Williamson cover)
Midnight Rider
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
You Don’t Love Me (Willie Cobbs cover)

Schaefer Music Festival

The festival is sponsored by Rheingold Breweries until 1968, when the task is handled by F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company.  Just before the Schaefer Music Festival kicked off in the summer of 1968 a free concert is given in Central Park featuring the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, three of the top acts at that time. 6,000 people “jammed into the bandstand near the [Central Park] Mall while thousands more sprawled out on the grass and under the trees. 

Club owner and musician Hilly Kristal co-founded the series with producer and concert promoter Ron Delsener. Over the years a “Who’s Who” of superstars of the popular music scene performed there. Inexpensive tickets, which started at $1 in 1967 and rose to only $3 by 1976, further contributed to the event’s popularity. While the capacity of the Wollman Rink was usually limited to about 6,000 to 7,000 people, it is reported that Bob Marley’s performance in 1975 had attracted about 15,000 people.

In 1977, Dr. Pepper assumed sponsorship of a Central Park concert series, renamed the Dr. Pepper Central Park Music Festival. This series moves to Pier 84 on the West Side in 1981 due to residential noise complaints. In 1983 Miller Brewing Company takes over sponsorship with the name “Miller Time Concerts” on the Pier until 1988. In 1989, Reebok took over sponsorship of the concert series at Pier 84, renamed Reebok Riverstage, which lasted through 1990.

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Credits: Alamy – EPBRBY

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