Freddy Bannister, trailblazing rock promoter who set up concerts at Knebworth by bands such as the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin – obituary

Dating service
Freddy Bannister, right, at Knebworth
Freddy Bannister, right, at Knebworth

Freddy Bannister, who has died aged 84, was a pioneer of the modern music festival; he was the mastermind behind the Bath Festival of Blues in 1969, and inaugurated the regular festivals at Knebworth House that have earned it the sobriquet “the stately home of rock”.

Bannister’s festival in Bath inspired Michael Eavis to create his own version at Glastonbury, while the Knebworth festivals proved an enduring success. Bannister organised the first seven festivals at Knebworth, between 1974 and 1979, with memorable sets from the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Roy Harper and dozens of other artists.

Bannister’s trailblazing work...

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