Held July 3-5, 1970, with attendance estimated to be between 300,000 and 400,000, the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival was arguably the last of the massive, free-spirited, un-corporatized rock festivals of the late-1960s counterculture era. With over 30 musical acts, the festival’s headliner – a mere ten weeks before his untimely death – was Jimi Hendrix. It was the largest audience Hendrix would perform for during his entire career.
Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church, a new documentary film about the music legend’s Atlanta Pop set and the circumstances surrounding it, will debut on premium cable network Showtime on Sept. 4th at 9 p.m. ET. The DVD and Blu-ray version, featuring bonus content not included in the broadcast version, will be released in retail outlets on Oct. 30th.
The film features interviews with Atlanta music promoter Alex Cooley, who put on the three-day festival 100 miles south of Atlanta (in a soybean field just outside the tiny town of Byron, Georgia) and his efforts to secure Hendrix, who performed near midnight on the fourth of July. The documentary also includes interviews with such notables as Hendrix bandmates Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell, Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, Rich Robinson, Kirk Hammett, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and Atlanta musician Glenn Phillips, then a member of the Hampton Grease Band who played the festival. The live footage of Hendrix was shot by filmmaker Steve Rash, who would go on to direct The Buddy Holly Story and Can’t Buy Me Love.
An audio release of the concert set itself, Freedom: Jimi Hendrix Experience Atlanta Pop Festival, will precede the Showtime documentary and subsequent DVD release with an Aug. 28th retail release. The 2CD/2LP set will include six performances not seen in the Showtime documentary.