Our musical project “Vortex 1” is based on this historical event. We tell the story from the perspectives of the activist/protesters and Governor Tom McCall’s office. In 1970, Vietnam War protests were erupting into violent skirmishes with deadly results. Governor McCall’s primary goal was to avoid violence. The protesters wanted to make their voices heard. We give melodic voice to both perspectives in our musical, Vortex 1.
(From OPB) In the summer of 1970, some tens of thousands of people converged in rural Clackamas County for an event called Vortex 1. This “biodegradable festival of life” celebrated freedom — freedom from violence, from drug laws and from clothes. It also served as an elaborate ploy to lure young people away from Portland. And to this day, Vortex remains America’s only large-scale rock festival ever sponsored by a Republican governor.