Runaway Dinosaur

For the love of the music…..

Schaefer Music Festival-The Who at Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park 40 Years Ago Today

Posted by jhochstat on August 7, 2008

Who Ticket August 7, 1968

Who Ticket August 7, 1968

From circa 1967-1976, The F+M Schaefer Brewing Company hosted / sponsored a series of concerts each summer at the Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park. Hilly Kristal (1932-2007), who at the time owned the club Hilly’s in Greenwich Village and later opened CBGB, co-founded the Schaefer Music Festival with producer Ron Delsner. Say what you want about arena rock, corporate sponsorship, big name breweries or performers & their labels – but I don’t think anyone was getting rich on these gigs. Tickets were $1.00 each in 1967-1968.

Wolman Rink as a concert venue

Wollman Rink as a concert venue

One of the earliest shows was The Who playing in front of 6000-7000 people 40 years ago today, August 7th, 1968

The Who 1968

The Who 1968

The setlist for that day was:

Heaven And Hell
I Can’t Explain
Magic Bus
Young Man Blues
Shakin’ All Over
My Generation

By the way in case you were wondering who played there in 1969, here you go:

Led Zep at Wollman 1969

and in 1970…

Delaney Bramlett & Duane Allman At Schaefer Music Festival - 1970 Photo By Eric Mirell

Delaney Bramlett & Duane Allman At Schaefer Music Festival - 1970 Photo By Eric Mirell

Delaney & Bonnie with Duane Allman and Seals & Crofts played a double bill on August 5th 1970

Big thanks to for a lot of this information and The Who Concert Guide for the ticket and setlist


8 Responses to “Schaefer Music Festival-The Who at Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park 40 Years Ago Today”

  1. […] takes a look back at the Schafer Music Festival, where you could have seen The Who for $1. Now that’s a […]

  2. RevRev said

    Memories, here I come! The price may have been a buck, but we all would cram onto the small hill overlooking the rink and hear the music for nothing; all the while drinking Yago Sant’Gria (as they called it) and smoking some snappy “homemade cigarettes.” Great fun meeting other people and having a ball on the grass. I mean sitting on the grass. Yeah, trhat’s it. That’s what I meant…

  3. Andrew Kay said

    The good old days. Tickets were actually 1-2 dollars and I remember waiting for the Village Voice to come out with the schedule for the summer and runnng down to one of the stores carrying tickets and for $30. walking out with orchestra seats ($2) for 15 shows. NO BS ticketmaster charges: just 1 or 2 dollars. Thanks for the memories, Andy

  4. Greg H said

    I saw so many groups there from 1968 & on, the 1st show I went to was definatley $1 general admission & then it went up to $1.50, saw Country Joe & the Fish throw out hits of THC during the Acid Commercial Song, said was because LSD became illegal but THC was not on the books yet, also saw Jeff Beck with Rod, Led Zepplin with BB King, Vanilla Fudge,the Byrds, the Who & on & on, what a great time, also remembering sitting on the big rock & overlooking into the show
    Greg H

  5. jerry morton said

    Remember waiting on line then running down the stairs? I saw Led Zep,the Rascals,Benny Goodman,Sly and the Family Stone,The Who,Buddy Rich,Cheech and Chong,Ten Years After,Vanilla Fudge,BBKing and Albert King same bill,Butterfield and James Cotton same bill,the Kinks,Neil Diamond as an unannouced opener,Van Morrison,Mothers of Invention,Blues Project Reunion.That had to be the best venue ever in nyc except of course for the Fillmore.I went to so many other shows there it would take me forever to list them but wow what a great place.Hey remember that little red ticket booth outside for upcoming shows,the cops chasing you off that one set of rocks,or strolling thru the tunnel to walk over to the zoo.Great memories.

  6. it is actually fun to be on music festivals because i love music so much:

  7. Iggy said

    Saw the worlds greatest drummer at the Schafer Music Festival back in 1970 & 1971. Amazing!

  8. Brad Bolin said

    I hit NYC in 1975 and instantly fell in love with the Rink’s summer concerts! I went every summer until 1980 when I left for Washington DC and even returned to see a few concerts after leaving NYC.. Seeing as many shows as possible during what was the last year of The Dr Pepper series.. Tickets by that time (if memory serves me well) had “soared” to $2.50 for the cheap seats (giggles at the thought) and $4.00 for orchestra..The eclectic diversity of the artist that played ranged from Pete Seeger to The Ramones and everything in between.. It would be impossible to list the artist/groups I managed to witness at the Wollman skating rink!

    Making friends while standing in line early to get the best seats was also a blast.. Many folks standing around asking if anyone had a bottle opener was one of the big ice breakers.. Funny how NY’ers love to talk to strangers if only given an opportunity or excuse..

    I went so often that the staff began to recognize me and always helped me get a great seat down front.. I usually went by myself which helped me get a solo seat in a great spot.. I may have started out by myself but rarely ended up that way.. I made many long lasting friendships while attending shows there and it was probably one of the best things about NYC at a time when the city was pretty much bankrupt!

    There was one crazy incident that happened AFTER a show I’ll never forget.. We were leaving the rink through the south side rear exit and the crowd became so large trying to squeeze out the gate that some of us were getting crushed against the 10 foot high chain link fence.. So instead of being smashed we climbed out over the fencing only to be met by security with billy clubs who started whacking on us. Remember, we weren’t sneaking in,, We were leaving after the show had ended.. I have to admit that the management took it very seriously when a few of us complained… I was called via phone several times to get my story and asking me if I wanted to be compensated in some way.. I suggested that if the security personnel wasn’t able to tell a crime from a retreat that maybe they shouldn’t be working there.. I never saw those security guards after that so I think they may have taken the advice to heart!

    I’ll always have extremely fond memories of those hot lazy summer nights when for mere pennies one could see world class entertainment in a beautiful open air setting!

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