December 1970

Launching Place, Victoria

31 December 1970





Festival lineup:
Jeff Crozier
Healing Force
King Harvest
Wendy Saddington
Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs


The Launching Place Festival was named after the town where it was held. Launching Place, on the Yarra River, is approximately 60 kilometres east of Melbourne and just south of the town of Healsville.

Launching Place was Australia's second rock festival, following eleven months after the pioneering Ourimbah "Pilgrimage For Pop" held just north of Sydney in January 1970, and it was the first rock festival ever staged in Victoria.

According to rock historian Ian McFarlane, it rained most of the time -- a common problem for festivals staged at this time of the year. He reports that although the bands were well received, the crowd numbers were low and Launching Place didn't make a profit.

The festival itself is all but forgotten now and, regrettably, this page contains virtually all that is currently known about it. However it is commemorated by two songs recorded by Spectrum. "Launching Place Part I" and "Launching Place Part II" were written by Mike Rudd to promote the event. Both were recorded at the same session as the track which became their first single, "I'll Be Gone", a song they cut on the spur of the moment after a request by producer Howard Gable.

"Launching Place Part II" was released in 1970 as the b-side of "I'll Be Gone", and is available on CD on Raven's Spectrum compilation Ghosts: Post-Terminal Reflections. The master tape of "Launching Place Part I" was lost for many years but Mike and Bill rediscovered it in 2000, and the track was included on Spectrum's I'll Be Gonz CD in 2001, released to mark the 30th anniversary of "I'll Be Gone" reaching #1.

References / Links

Ian McFarlane
Encylopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)

Adrian Rawlins
Festivals in Australia: An Intimate History (D.T.E Publishers, Spring Hill, Vic, 1986)