The historic gathering of perhaps as many as 1,700 people took place “less than a year after Woodstock,” Yurdin continues, “and a month and a half after the shootings at Kent State.” In fact, Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band described the event as an “elite Woodstock.” Yurdin had been involved with free form radio since its inception in 1963, working with Bob Fass at WBAI-FM in New York, and subsequently at KMPX and KSAN in San Francisco. While teaching a course at Goddard on alternative media, he proposed to his students that they run the conference as a class project.
Out went invitations to alternative newspapers, alternative radio stations, underground comics producers, and video innovators to come to the Vermont campus. Interestingly, individuals from institutions that you wouldn’t think of as “alternative” helped with the planning, among them Augie Bloom, National Program Director for RCA records, Billboard magazine columnist Danny Goldberg, and an FM promotions director for Atlantic Records. This sort of pragmatism paid off. Atlantic donated three thousand dollars and three bands to the event: Cactus, the J. Geils Band, and Dr. John. The Hog Farm ran a campsite for the conference.