Altamont Free Concert

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The Altamont Free Concert, also known as Altamont Speedway Free Festival or Woodstock West, was an event held on December 6, 1969 that effectively brought the 1960s era to an end.[1][2] The event is known for left-wing violence, and the stabbing and beating death of Meredith Hunter, which was caught on camera and appeared in Gimme Shelter, a documentary film about the concert and its aftermath.[3]

Musical Acts

The artists and groups who headlined the concert included: The Rolling Stones, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

American Pie

Parts of the song American Pie are seen as a euphemism for the violence that occurred at Altamont, and the results of the New Left. As a play on McLean's song, some have said that Altamont marks The Day the '60s Died.[4][5]


The biker gang Hell's Angels provided security at the event, and according to the video footage in Gimme Shelter, one of its members, Alan Passaro, was the killer of Meredith Hunter.[3] Passaro, who had charged at Hunter and stabbed him with a knife in the footage, was charged with murder following the concert but was later acquitted in a trial on grounds of self-defence after Hunter was seen in the footage pulling out a revolver and pointing it toward the concert stage before Passaro struck.

See also


  1. 45 Years Ago: The Rolling Stones’ Altamont Speedway Concert Ends in Homicide
  2. The Altamont Festival brings the 1960s to a violent end
  3. 3.0 3.1 Altamont Free Concert - Death of Meredith Hunter
  4. The Day the '60s Died
  5. The Rolling Stones at Altamont: the day the music died