Sodom and Gomorrah in Sedalia: The 1974 Ozark Music Festival
In July 1974, an estimated 100,000 members—and probably more—of the Woodstock generation descended on the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia for a weekend of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Amid the sweltering heat and the sounds of such popular bands as the Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and REO Speedwagon, they effectively overwhelmed the beleaguered town.
While considered the era’s “forgotten festival,” the episode still stirs both hard feelings among locals and fonder memories for its (then) youthful concertgoers.
Independence, Missouri, filmmaker Jefferson Lujin has spent seven years interviewing eyewitnesses and conducting other extensive research on the event for a labor-of-love documentary film, The Story of the Ozark Music Festival: 3 Days of Sodom & Gomorrah in Sedalia, Missouri. He discusses a gathering that a state senate committee later deemed “a disaster,” sharing clips of his work in progress.