This is a classic mid-'70's Stones poster from one of their most epic mid-70s shows (although there are many who say Lynyrd Skynyrd stole the day). Art credit is listed as Freddy Banister who was the show’s promoter so it’s unlikely he actually did the graphics. The poster is printed on thin paper and so we have had it backed with linen to protect it.
No-one will ever agree upon exactly how many people turned out to witness the Rolling Stones perform at Hertfordshire’s Knebworth Park on August 21, 1976 - estimates range from 150,000-300,000 - but it was a big crowd. Technical problems dogged much of the show, resulting in The Stones going on very late, but they played an extremely long set (30 songs) that helped make up for some earlier unrest among the crowd.
The Rolling Stones were not only the world’s biggest band, they wholly defined what rock and roll should be. Dissenting punk voices had yet to dent their legend and the gushing music press was still very much on their side. If you were a British rock fan in 1976, you wanted to go and see The Rolling Stones at Knebworth. Meanwhile demand for the Stones had never been so acute and with rumors rife that Knebworth was to be their last ever show, even those unable to secure a ticket were determined to attend.
In the words of Ian Fortnam,
“….a band we’d never heard of launched, without fanfare, into a song that was evidently called Freebird and, as it gradually metamorphosed from gentle uplifting ballad to all-out guitar firefight, the vast audience’s response went from indifference to adulation. I’ve never witnessed a crowd react to a support band in the same way that Knebworth did to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Somewhere between the first chorus and the second verse the band went from unknown names to full-fledged stars.”
“Skynyrd caused a real buzz backstage,” remembers Freddy Bannister. “We all wondered how anyone could follow them.” An hour later, we all began to wonder if anyone would even try.