In 1970, Andy Barker felt his 22-year-old daughter, Tonda, was too young to attend the prior summer’s Woodstock Music Festival in New York.
He refused to let her go, but Andy was willing to provide a safe place to hold a concert in Love Valley, the little Iredell County cowboy town he built from the ground up and incorporated in 1954.
“He always felt like Love Valley was a peaceful place to come,” Tonda said.
The Love Valley Thing — as the show was called — was supposed to be for 50,000. Attendance estimates range from 75,000 to 200,000. The reality is likely somewhere in between.
“We had no idea so many people would arrive,” she said.
The festival, which happened 47 years ago this weekend, had all the trappings of the late ’60s hippie culture: drugs, nudity, free spirits and music.
On the event of the anniversary, the Record & Landmark reached out to those involved about their recollections of the legendary festival, which put Love