The peaceful Green Fair

Norwich, July 1983

poster for the peaceful green fair
Actually July 1st - 3rd in Earlham Park, UEA Village and the UEA Rural Development Unit

Band recordings (Audio only)

At the time I recorded just about all the bands who played at the fair with the help of Chris Phillips and his cassette recorder. These were sort of "official bootlegs" and all the bands knew they were being recorded, not all of the recordings have survived sadly.

Most of the bands have vanished without trace a long time ago although a few went on to bigger things.

Ground Zero became Underground zero and as of 2014 were still gigging.

Here and Now and the Karmakanix were a regular around the free festival scene for years.

The Disrupters made a name for themselves on the punk scene and have recently reformed.

The recordings from the Peaceful Green Fair were made on cassette from stereo cross mics, if it sounds like a free festy, well it was. The PA was by ADD run by Geoff, a well known figure on the Norwich music scene.


Karmakanix - headline act Friday night. Part of Norwich's Argyl Street squat, Karma kanix went on to be regulars on the festival circuit for many years.
Karma Kanix and Here and Now members are still around as House of Thandoy and also 39 Orbits


The Hollow Men - Haven't got any information about this band, if you know, please contact me

The Disrupters - The earliest live recording of The Disrupters. They went on to a fair degree of fame on the punk scene thoughout the 80's. I made a documentary about them which can be seen here

Prem Nick (Poet) - The earliest recording of Nick, who became the fifth unofficial member of the Disrupters and features on several of their albums

Vital disorders - Only one song remains form this set, T.E.S.C.O.. The VD's were a very popular Norwich local band at the time, from the sme stable as the Kamikazi Sex Pilots

Here and now - The headline act on Saturday, H&N were big on the free festival scene for many years and are still active - H&N Facebook page


Fire hydrant mean feat. the fabulous fazzettes - No information about this band sadly, except to say they were big on the locval band scene at the time and I think were based at the UEA

Kamikazi Sex Pilots - Jon Ward had a previous band called “Carl Gustav and the 84s” and was a prominant figure in the Norwich musical scene at the time. Jon sadly passed away some time ago.

TonTon Taboo - an early manifestation of Roger Foyster , perhaps a goth band before goth was a thing. More info appreciated.

Ground Zero - This recording was issued by the band in 1983 as "The Official Bootleg" and apparently sold several thousand copies!. Nick Turner joined them onstage for the last few songs. Later as 'Underground Zero' these guys were became big on the local band scene and had a very impressive stage show. They were active until 2014. UG0Website




The story of the fair

1983 Peaceful Green Fair

Norwich has long had a vibrant music scene and I'd been lugging stupidly heavy tape recorders around venues recording local band gigs for a couple of years when I heard of the plans for a festival in Earlham Park, so I went along to the planning meetings.

There had been a few free festivals near Norwich in previous years but this time someone had the idea of asking the council if the fair could use Earlham park and they'd agreed, so it was going to be a legal one. An organising group of mostly squatters from Norwich's Argyl Street (at the time one of the largest squats in Europe apparently) and uni students had booked the park from the council, somehow I don't think that would happen now.

The planning meetings were all held at the UEA - the Norwich university of East Anglia where I had been a student some years before, The meetings were a bit chaotic but things did actually get done.

Having never done anything in the way of gig promotion I offered to run the music stage, so along with Dave Goringe and Chris Phillips I did just that! There was much debate as to whether they wanted anything electric, but as luck had it we had a site split by a main road, so one part was set aside for the music and the rest for the no-electric hippy fair.

With all the confidence of a sleepwalker I went around local gigs booking bands. We had Karma Kanix headline Friday night, Here&Now as the main band on Saturday night and Ground Zero ( later became Underground Zero, UZ) - a local Hawkwind style band on the Sunday. Somehow we managed to get a midnight music licence which caused loads of complaints from the nearby houses. UZ finished their show with two huge rocket fireworks, only one of which went upwards.

I decided to give each band a time slot of 40 minutes and allowed a fixed set-up time of 20 minutes for each band. Given what I now know about hippies and punks and their idea of time keeping I would never have tried this, but I did and it all worked. I scheduled a complete show for three days (apart from the reggae slot) of mostly local bands plus a few festival circuit bands like Big Amongst Sheep and Here and Now. The reggae slot on Sunday was put together by Dave and the Argyl Street crew which is why Benjamin Zephaniah, who also played, isn't listed on the running order. Nick Turner was there and played with Underground Zero on Sunday night.

Anyway, as I worked in a school and had an offset litho printer, I run off hundreds of copies of the running order and gave everyone a copy with strict orders of when to turn up and amazingly they all did. In the event the worst we got was about 20 mins behind schedule! Although I didn't manage to keep a copy of the running order, Karl of Underground Zero found one in August 2009 whilst going through some old photos so here it is, click the small image for a bigger copy.

Despite all the planning we did, somehow no-one had thought too much about about toilets on the music site. As we were setting the stage area up, I hassled the UEA security staff (they were called "Porters" back then) and they came up with not only proper loos, but showers as well!

My job on the days was to keep the stage running and get the bands on, which I did in manic style, fueled by rather large amounts of herbal flavoured roll-ups I seem to remember. Come the final band Sunday night my role was over and I suddenly became way too wellied to talk, or do anything really and I had to get Chris to drive me home. Great fun it was though

I didn't get to see much of the rest of the fair. The music stage was on the old UEA Village site next to the wonderful but long gone Barn and the main fair was over the B1108 in Earlham park. The camping was the other side of the river in what was the UEA farm, not the Science Park.

The barn at night
The barn at night during Here and Now

The weather did something very strange as well, the run up during the week had been overcast and not at all nice and so it was on Friday morning. Come time for the first band though, the sun came out and out it stayed for the rest of the fair.

Despite being legal, the Peaceful Green fair was a genuine free festival and had all the elements that make such a fair. We set aside a section of the camping site for travelers and they provided much of the labour for getting the site ready, of course this was before the tabloid press declared war on the "convoy", all that was just about to start.

Although fairs happened in Earlham park in 1985 and 1986 (The Rainbow fairs) and into the 90's as Sun in the East, they were never quite the same thing.

Much to everyone's surprise and even embarrassment the fair made a sizable profit, so a large donation to a local charity Swan Rescue was made and a follow up indoor festival "the Peaceful green breezeblock" was staged that November at the UEA. The "breezeblock" name coming from the brutalist 60's concrete nature of the campus, but that's another story.


Taken by Mark Hingley and myself

Peaceful green fair



1983 Peaceful Green Fair


Ouagadougou township rockers

Chris and Peter
Chris and Pete doing something in my van

1983 Peaceful Green Fair

1983 Peaceful Green Fair
Pascal and Tim

Big amongst sheep

Big Amongst Sheep from Cumbria

Nick Turner

Nick Turner on stage with Ground Zero

Kev - Disrupters

Disrupters Kev

Steve - Disrupters
Steve Disrupters


Eva Valve

Eva Valve
Eva Valve


Ranata Spirit playing on Saturday. This is silent 8mm film and sadly the soundtrack has been lost. It does settle down to give a steady picture

Shake the nation

Nick NAtion
Nick "Nation" Winfield - Shake the nation

Eugene the Deamon Poet
Eugene the deaon poet

Ton ton TabooRoger of Tonton Taboo


Tonton Taboo
Tonton Taboo

Nick Turner
Nick Turner playing with Ground Zero

Suzy VD
Suzy of the VD's

Here and now

Here and now

her andnow

Here andnw
Here and now


Photos by Doris Norch





Patrick the town Cryer



Photos from Rob Miller

PGF main site

PGF stage

pgf cinema

PGF stage