30 Years Ago Today, Metal Took The Stage At The US Festival

30 Years Ago Today, the US Festival, created by Apple's Steve Wozniak, held it's first and last Day Of Metal. May 29th was day 2 of the 2nd annual US Festival, held sandwiched between a Day of New Wave, and a Day of Rock.

An estimated 375,000 fans descended upon Devore, CA (670,000 for the entire festival run) to the site that later became the Glenn Helen Pavilion. On this day 30 years ago, metal fans were treated to a monstrous lineup of Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Van Halen, and Triumph.

Van Halen was paid $1,000,000 for their day 2 headlining appearance. When band management found out that David Bowie was paid the same amount to headline the following night, Van Halen's management cited a clause in the contract stating Van Halen had to be the highest paid band. The band's contract was upped to $1,500,000 for their performance.

Two deaths were reported: a homeless man was stabbed to death by a 17 year old girl and a fan was hit with a tire iron in a drug deal gone bad. There were reports of biker gangs travelling from across the country to sell drugs to concertgoers. There were also over 100 drug related arrests. ''It's an absolute zoo,'' said San Bernardino County Sheriff Floyd Tidwell. ''This is a different kind of crowd than last year. They're a little more prone to violence and selling narcotics.''

US Festival was billed as more than just a rock festival. It was a cultural and technological gathering second to only Woodstock. Showtime filmed and aired the event and broadcast it live via ONTV, some of which can be viewed below.

Between the exorbitant venue fees, performance fees and lower than expected pay-per-view subscriptions, festival organizers lost upwards of $12,000,000. This ended up being the final US Festival in Devore, CA.

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Tags:  US FestivalMotley CrueVan HalenOzzy OsbourneQuiet Riot

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Date: May 29, 2013
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