Peace, Love, and Independence, KY???


By Laura Brinson, M.Ed., CHES, Public Health Impacts Administrator



In August 1969, more than 400,000 people flocked to Bethel, New York to experience the three-day music festival known as Woodstock. The festival featured some of the greatest musicians of all time, including Santana, Janis Joplin, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. This festival is known to many as one of the most pivotal moments in rock history.

That’s great and all, but what does this have to do with NKY Health, let alone Northern Kentucky? More than you think. In 1970, a Ft. Thomas antique shop owner by the name of Ray Hill proposed a five-day rock festival on a farm in Independence, KY. The festival would be held on a 29-acre site off Webster Road, with shuttle buses running from nearby neighborhoods. According to a Kentucky Post article dated July 17, 1970, Hill wanted to provide Northern Kentucky teens with a, “…decent and respectable rock festival.” He also stated that he, “…want(ed) to provide for sanitation, food, and cleanup in accordance with recommendations from the County Health Department.” Sounds like Environmental Health and Safety would be working overtime on this one…

So, why isn’t Independence and its music festival cited in rock history? Because it never happened. In a Kentucky Post article dated just a few days later on July 22, 1970, Hill announced plans for the music festival were, “…absolutely dead.” He said that too many people were against it, and that, “…radical groups which might provoke violence had entered the picture.” No doubt the neighbors of the proposed site were happy. One neighbor had feared, “…naked men and women lying in his yard.” After all this, Ray Hill declared he was returning to antiquing.

You just never know what we’re going to have to respond to at the Northern Kentucky Health Department…