Festivals, Film, Video — May 16, 2012 at 8:09 am

‘The US Generation’ documentary to mark 30th anniversary of US Festival this Labor Day

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is helping make a feature-length documentary about the so-called “Woodstock of the ’80s” — the 1982 US Festival, which featured Talking Heads, Oingo Boingo, The B-52s, The Cars, Ramones, Gang of Four and more — to be released this Labor Day weekend on the event’s 30th anniversary.

According to a news release (via Waist High), Woz’s UNUSON Corporation is teaming with ICON Television Music and Plum Moving Media to make “The US Generation,” a 90-minute film featuring new interviews and original audio and video from the festival that’s been newly remastered. The film currently is scheduled to be released Sept. 3.

Carlos Harvey, CFO of UNUSON, says in the statement:

“This film is the only authorized and sanctioned documentary of the 1982 US Festival. It captures the cultural essence of the festival and tells the behind-the-scenes stories the fans will appreciate. I’ve had thousands of calls and e-mails from attendees over the years about when we’ll release a film about the US Festival. After 30 years it seems like the right time so the fans can relive the experience and we can create new fans, too.”

More than 375,000 people attended the first of two US Festivals on 57 acres at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernadino, Calif., over Labor Day weekend in 1982, baking under the 110-degree sun to see three days of music and five tents’ worth of technology exhibits featuring the “latest in cutting-edge computers, software, video games and electronic musical devices.”

The event’s first day featured a cutting-edge music bill, with most of the aforementioned acts playing in a lineup headlined by The Police. The second and third days featured more mainstream fare, with performances by the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac and The Grateful Dead.

Although it doesn’t appear the film will touch on the second festival, the 1983 installment was spread over four days, drew nearly twice as many people and featured a lineup that included The Clash, David Bowie and U2, plus the event’s famous “Metal Day,” with Van Halen, Scorpions, Motley Crue and more.

Wozniak, in the news release, says: “The US Festival was not a charity event. It was a rock concert to bring music, technology and people together. It was an event to unite government, industry, science and education to improve the quality of life for everyone.”

Below, check out some footage from the ’82 festival:









  1. WHAT??? No documentary for the ’83 festival? How about one that encompasses both? Wasn’t the ’83 concert the last performance of the original lineup of the English Beat?

  2. Not worth the watch without the 83 festival, INXS baby!

  3. The English Beat’s US Festival appearance is being released this year on CD/DVD. See the Beat reissue post from a few weeks ago on this site.

  4. the 83 one was the better one, yes? I’ve have to compare the two lineups back to back….

  5. Cant wait to see this doco, the footage is amazing not of the bands but the people so happy ! I could care less about the bands its the 80’s youth i want to see.

  6. This was my first concert ever. I was very young. I was there for all 3 days! It was Absolutely Amazing, it was an experience i will Never forget, i’m proud to have been a part of it, and i would love to see this docu. come out!


  8. Jo Faulkinbury

    Best time ever.

  9. I was there in ’83 for days 1 & 2. I was 19 at the time. My best friend and I hitchhiked from Chico, CA and as luck would have it, we got there in only 2 rides! Man, that seems like a lifetime ago now. The memories remain though. What an awesome time it was to be 19 in America! We thought we had the world by the balls and we weren’t letting go anytime soon. That festival was just so awesome in every sense of the word. On Metal day, my friend and I were among the first few people through the gates and got to be up front for Quiet Riot, Motley Crue and Triumph. That’s when it started to get too crowded and suffocating up front so we decided to move back a bit. When we turned around and looked at the size the crowd had become, we literally couldn’t see where the people stopped along the horizon. I’m proud to have been part of it! So much happiness and no haters, posers, etc. Just half a million people enjoying the music and each other.

  10. Arthur gonzales

    Man that was the best concert I have ever went to I was there for 1,2,3. Believe it or not I was thirteen when I went. It’s was awesome to see and be a part of. I went with a bunch friends and family who were 19 and 20. At night as far as you can see there were Von fires hundreds of them all over the hills And trying to go to the portable bath room was an adventure. Crazy girls and funny people waiting. It was cool times. One of the best time I ever had in my life. Thanks to the two guys that threw it. I wish they would have added 83 in there documentary. But I bet we were to wild then. Especially on day 2. God bless everyone who was there.

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