They Felt Anxious
For most of the month preceding the festival, it looked as if the event would never take place. Under intense pressure from police, conservatives, and the Catholic Archdiocese, virtually every county in the area passed laws prohibiting or severely restricting rock festivals. A site in Enumclaw, 30 miles southeast of Seattle in King County, was offered and then withdrawn, and producer John Chambless scrambled to find an alternative.
He ended up with a strange locale: the Rainier Hereford Ranch, a stretch of dry grassland dimpled with miniature hillocks (left behind as some glacial prank) near Tenino, south of Olympia.
The Tenino Chamber of Commerce and several adjacent property owners obtained an injunction blocking a Thurston County permit, but a sympathetic judge required the plaintiffs to post a $25,000 bond against the festival's anticipated losses. They couldn't, and at the last possible second the festival was cleared for takeoff.
An estimated 25,000 people attended over three days, but the festival still lost money.