The 'Summer Jam at Watkins Glen' was a 1973 rock festival
which once received the Guinness Book of World Records entry
for "Largest audience at a pop festival"
An estimated 600,000 rock fans outdrawing Woodstock
came to the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Raceway
outside of Watkins Glen, New York on July 28, 1973
to see the Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead and The Band perform
Although the concert was scheduled to start on July 28th
thousands of music fans were already at the concert site
on the the 27th of July that paid $10 a ticket - if they bought one
On July 28
The day of the concert an estimated 600,000 music fans
had arrived in Watkins Glen
The Grateful Dead performed first playing two long sets
They opened with "Bertha" and played many hits such as "Box Of Rain", "Jack Straw", "Playing in the Band", "China Cat Sunflower" and "Eyes of the World"
The Band followed the Dead with one two-hour set
However, their set was cut in half by a drenching thunderstorm
in a scene again reminiscent of Woodstock
people were covered with mud
During the storm, keyboardist Garth Hudson performed his signature organ improvisation "The Genetic Method"
When the rain finally let up, the full Band joined Hudson on stage
and segued into their signature song "Chest Fever"
in a manner similar to how the songs were presented on The Band's live album Rock of Ages
Finally, the Allman Brothers Band performed for three hours
Their performance included songs from their soon-to-be-released album 'Brothers and Sisters' along with their standards "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed", "Statesboro Blues", "Les Brers in A Minor" and "Whipping Post"
Following the Allmans' second set
there was an hour encore jam around midnight
featuring musicians from all three bands
The jam featured spirited renditions of "Not Fade Away", "Mountain Jam", and "Johnny B. Goode"
Although there were no reports of violence at Watkins Glen
The day was marred by the death of Willard Smith, 35
a skydiver from Syracuse, New York
Smith dived from an airplane carrying flares
One of the flares ignited his body suit and he was engulfed in flames
Smith's body was eventually found in the woods near the concert site
There is also the unsolved disappearance of two high school teenagers from Brooklyn who were hitchhiking to the concert
Many historians claimed that the Watkins Glen event was the largest gathering of people in the history of the United States
Considering that most of those who attended the event
hailed from the Northeast
and that the average age of those present
was approximately seventeen to twenty-four
close to one out of every three young people
from Boston to New York was at the festival!