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Festival Express (2003)

The filmed account of a large Canadian rock festival train tour.

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Danko ...
Himself - The Band
...
Himself - The Band
Garth Hudson ...
Himself - The Band
Richard Manuel ...
Himself - The Band
...
Himself - The Band
...
Herself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Delaney Bramlett ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Ben Benay ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Sam Clayton ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Jim Gordon ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Kenny Gradney ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends / Interviewee
Jerry Jumonville ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Darrell Leonard ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Frank Maize ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Chuck Morgan ...
Himself - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends

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Storyline

In the summer of 1970, a chartered train crossed Canada carrying some of the world's greatest rock bands. The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, and others lived (and partied) together for five days, stopping in major cities along the way to play live concerts. Their journey was filmed. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Festival Express... The longest party in rock-n-roll history.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

29 April 2004 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Fesztivál Expressz  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,074 (USA) (23 July 2004)

Gross:

$1,172,345 (USA) (12 November 2004)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter wrote the song "Might As Well" about the Festival Express train trip. This song, performed over the years by Grateful Dead, has lots of lyrics referencing this trip: "Long train running from coast to coast/bringing long the party where they need it the most" and "Never had such a good time/in my life before/I'd like to have it one time more/One good ride from start to end/I'd like to take that ride again." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: A House Is Not a Home (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Lazy Day
Performed by The Flying Burrito Brothers
Written by Gram Parsons (as G. Parsons)
Published by Irving Music Inc.
The Flying Burrito Brothers appear courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
From someone who was there
15 November 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I was there at the Toronto performance(s). I was inside the venue all the time and never got to see any of the hassle with the cops and the gate crashers. The first time I saw it was in this film. I must say, Altamont it was not.

I was fairly well connected from working on the fringe of the music business in Toronto at the time and I knew some of the people who were on the tour. I would have given my left arm to have been on that train but it wasn't to be.

Let me tell you... this film just comes close - but no cigar - to how it REALLY was like to be there as it happened. The performances were, for the most part, electrifying and I can confidently assure you that the audience(s) had about as good a time as the performers!

I had been exposed to the "California contingent" which was on the tour years earlier in 1967 when I was living in Berkely and hanging out at the Avalon and the Filmore. I got to see the Dead and Janice before anyone had heard of them outside of California. This tour and this film caught them at their best as far as I'm concerned. Janice and the band were KILLER! Her set alone is worth the price of the DVD.

Watching this film was, for me, like going through a time-warp and being transported back to a more carefree time when I was minus wife, kids, mortgage,etc.

Although the production values aren't up to today's Hollywood snuff, considering what the producers had to work with, that they got it this polished is miraculous. I especially liked that the producers rounded up a number of the participants to interview them and get their take on it from over thirty years later.

The only significant down-side from my point of view is that some of the performers who appeared on the tour were not in the film and, in my opinion, their performances were no less worthy of inclusion. Some of the "travelogue" shots in the film could have been dumped to make more room for the music. I suppose that certain rights issues and technical quality issues were a barrier.

Anybody who has a warm spot in their heart for the music, the bands and the ethos of that era MUST add this DVD to their collection.


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