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


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Release Date:
29 April 2004 (Netherlands) See more »
Festival Express... The longest party in rock-n-roll history.
The filmed account of a large Canadian rock festival train tour. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Channeling the Big Guy under Big Sky See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order)
Rick Danko ... Himself - The Band

Levon Helm ... Himself - The Band
Garth Hudson ... Himself - The Band
Richard Manuel ... Himself - The Band

Robbie Robertson ... Himself - The Band

Bonnie Bramlett ... 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
Mike Clarke ... Himself - The Flying Burrito Brothers (as Michael Clarke)
Chris Hillman ... Himself - The Flying Burrito Brothers
Pete Kleinow ... Himself - The Flying Burrito Brothers (as Sneaky Pete Kleinow)
Bernie Leadon ... Himself - The Flying Burrito Brothers

Jerry Garcia ... Himself - Grateful Dead

Mickey Hart ... Himself - Grateful Dead / Interviewee
Bill Kreutzmann ... Himself - Grateful Dead (as Bill Kreutzman)
Phil Lesh ... Himself - Grateful Dead / Interviewee
Ron McKernan ... Himself - Grateful Dead (as Ron 'Pigpen' McKernan)

Bob Weir ... Himself - Grateful Dead / Interviewee

Buddy Guy ... Himself - Buddy Guy Blues Band / Interviewee
Phil Guy ... Himself - Buddy Guy Blues Band
Leroy Stewart ... Himself - Buddy Guy Blues Band
A.C. Reed ... Himself - Buddy Guy Blues Band
Roosevelt 'Snake' Shaw ... Himself - Buddy Guy Blues Band
Ian Tyson ... Himself - Ian & Sylvia & The Great Speckled Bird
Sylvia Tyson ... Herself - Ian & Sylvia & The Great Speckled Bird / Interviewee
Buddy Cage ... Himself - Ian & Sylvia & The Great Speckled Bird
Jim Colegrove ... Himself - Ian & Sylvia & The Great Speckled Bird
Amos Garrett ... Himself - Ian & Sylvia & The Great Speckled Bird
N.D. Smart ... Himself - Ian & Sylvia & The Great Speckled Bird
Richard Bell ... Himself - Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band / Interviewee
Brad Campbell ... Himself - Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band

Janis Joplin ... Herself - Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band
Ken Pearson ... Himself - Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band / Interviewee
Clark Pierson ... Himself - Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band
John Till ... Himself - Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band / Interviewee
Rayburn Blake ... Himself - Mashmakhan
Brian Edwards ... Himself - Mashmakhan
Jerry Mercer ... Himself - Mashmakhan / Interviewee
Pierre Sénécal ... Himself - Mashmakhan (as Pierre Senecal)
Donald 'Donny' York ... Himself - Sha Na Na (as Donny Yorke)
Jocko Marcellino ... Himself - Sha Na Na
'Screamin' Scott' Simon ... Himself - Sha Na Na (as Screamin' Scott Simon)
Lennie Baker ... Himself - Sha Na Na
Jon 'Bowzer' Bauman ... Himself - Sha Na Na (as Jon Bauman)
Elliot Cahn ... Himself - Sha Na Na
Bruce Clarke ... Himself - Sha Na Na
Frederick 'Dennis' Greene ... Himself - Sha Na Na (as Denny Greene)
Larry Packer ... Himself - Sha Na Na (as Larry Israel Packer)
Richard T. Joffe ... Himself - Sha Na Na (as Richard Joffe)
Scott Powell ... Himself - Sha Na Na
Eric Andersen ... Himself - Interviewee
Rob Bowman ... Himself - Interviewee
James Cullingham ... Himself - Interviewee
David Dalton ... Himself - Interviewee
Ken Walker ... Himself - Interviewee
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
The Band ... Themselves

Grateful Dead ... Themselves (as The Grateful Dead)
Terry David Mulligan ... Himself - Concert MC.
Sha-Na-Na ... Themselves
Leslie West ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
Bob Smeaton 
Frank Cvitanovich (original footage)
Produced by
Ann Carli .... executive producer
Garth Douglas .... executive producer
Nick Faulks .... associate producer
Stephan Mallmann .... co-executive producer
Nick O'Hagan .... co-producer
Gavin Poolman .... producer
Willem Poolman .... executive producer
Willem Poolman .... producer: original footage
Peter Shukat .... co-executive producer
John D. Trapman .... producer (as John Trapman)
Thierry Wase-Bailey .... co-executive producer
Cinematography by
Peter Biziou (director of photography)
Bob Fiore (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Eamonn Power 
Production Management
Sally Clayton .... digital post-production supervisor
F.R. Crawley .... production manager: original footage (as Budge Crawley)
Nellie Medina .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Cvitanovich .... second unit director: original 1970 footage
Sound Department
Nick Baldock .... assistant sound editor
Peter Baldock .... supervising sound editor
Paul Byrne .... sound syncing
Michael A. Carter .... sound re-recording mixer
Terry Cooke .... film sound recordist (1970)
Paul Cotterell .... sound re-recording mixer
Niley Duke .... sound recordist: original footage
Redmond Fitzpatrick .... sadie operator: Windmill Lane Pictures
Redmond Fitzpatrick .... synchronization: Windmill Lane Pictures
Alex Hudd .... sound consultant: dolby
Blair Jollands .... sound editor
Ken Lee .... sound recordist: Canada
Steve Onopa .... sound recordist (as Steven Onopa)
Kevin Phelan .... head of post-production: Lip Sync Post London
Stuart Wilson .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Viv Baker .... Inferno artist
Safiya Gili .... combustion artist (as Safiya Ravat)
Mitch Paulson .... digital preview colorist
Tom Russell .... senior colourist
Camera and Electrical Department
John Barber .... camera assistant
Bob Buchanan .... camera assistant: original footage
Jackie Burroughs .... camera assistant: original footage
Doug Cameron .... grip: original footage
John Denniston .... camera assistant
Jon Fontana .... gaffer
Jon Fontana .... grip
Stewart Hadley .... gaffer
Stewart Hadley .... grip
Doug Hall .... camera engineer
Steven Hall .... camera operator
John Hilton-Smith .... camera assistant: original footage
Barbara Jarvis .... camera assistant: original footage
John Kiffmeyer .... gaffer
John Kiffmeyer .... grip
Anne Knox .... camera assistant: original footage
Paul Lang .... camera assistant: original footage
Clarke Mackey .... camera operator: original footage (as Clarke MacKey)
Nello Manbodh .... grip: original footage
Ted McClelland .... camera operator: original footage (as Ted McLelland)
Dennis Miller .... camera operator: original footage
Andy Newall .... camera assistant
Ricardo Sarmiento .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Layla Blackman .... post-production coordinator (as Layla Evans)
Erika Brüning .... film recording supervisor (as Erika Bruning)
Giles Burgess .... first assistant film editor
Mark Elliott .... assembly editor: original footage
Nigel Horn .... laboratory contact
Lisa Jordan .... Senior Post Producer: Lipsync Post
David Maltby .... assembly editor: original footage
Liz Murphy .... head of post-production: Windmill Lane Pictures
Tom Russell .... colourist
Tom Russell .... senior colorist
Rod Shelton .... digital post-production producer
Laurent Treherne .... editing technical supervisor
Gerard Ward .... telecine operator: Windmill Lane Pictures
Music Department
Alex Andronache .... music studio manager: Metalworks Studios
Ian Bodzasi .... assistant music mixing engineer: Metalworks Studios
Alan Douglas .... assistant music mixing engineer: Olympic Studios
Tony Drootin .... director of audio operations: Sony Music Studios
Rita Hage-Boutros .... assistant: Tony Drootin, Sony Music Studios
Bob Irwin .... music researcher: Janis Joplin tapes, Sony Music Studios
Bob Irwin .... music transfer: Sony Music Studios
Martin Jensen .... music editor
Matt Kelly .... musical archivist: Sony Music Studios
Eddie Kramer .... music mixer
Joe Lizzi .... music mixing engineer: Sony Music Studios
Raine Munroe .... music studio manager: Metalworks Studios
Siobhan Paine .... music studio manager: Olympic Studios
Geoffrey Rice .... assistant music mixing engineer: Sony Music Studios
Mark Rinaldi .... assistant music mixing engineer: Sony Music Studios
Peter Shukat .... music clearances
David Swope .... assistant music mixing engineer: Sony Music Studios
Garret Titus .... music studio runner: Metalworks Studios
Eric Weissman .... music publishing clearances
L. Stu Young .... music transfer: Metalworks Studios
Other crew
Bambi Applebaum .... continuity: original footage
Jason Carpenter .... production assistant (as Jason 'Frisbee Golf' Carpenter)
James Andrew Cook .... motion graphics
James Cullingham .... story consultant
Cor Hellingman .... legal services
Eddie Kane .... production accountant
Elizabeth Klaviter .... assistant: Ann Carli
Nellie Medina .... production coordinator: NYC
Alex O'Donoghue .... production runner
Fraser Paterson .... production assistant
Abigail Payne .... legal services
Caroline Perjesi .... production coordinator
Roger Phillips .... title designer
Louise Prince .... legal services
John Rotstein .... archivist
John Rotstein .... researcher
Martin R. Smith .... production associate
Patrick Nicholas Smith .... production assistant
Jos Van Bekhoven .... accountancy services
Ken Walker .... promoter: original concerts
Tim Haslam .... Worldwide sales (uncredited)
Mark Aarons .... special thanks
Robbert Becker .... thanks
Mark Beilby .... thanks
Rayburn Blake .... thanks
Willem Boegem .... special thanks
Peter Brady .... thanks
Dennis Brinke .... special thanks
Chips Chipperfield .... thanks
Martin Clarke .... thanks
Michael Crawley .... thanks
Fred Dalley .... special thanks
Eric Doney .... special thanks
Jos Dreesens .... special thanks
Joe Dunphy .... thanks
Michael Eaton .... thanks
Thor Eaton .... very special thanks
Nick Faulks .... special thanks
Zelida Gordon .... thanks
Steph Green .... thanks
Paul Hamblin .... thanks
Lawrence Harper .... thanks
Jaap Hoff .... special thanks
Rienk Hoff .... special thanks
Gary Howsam .... thanks
Bomber Hurley-Smith .... special editing thanks to
Jeff Jones .... thanks
Tim Jones .... thanks
Laura Joplin .... special thanks
Nick Kaminecki .... thanks
Ad Klinkenberg .... special thanks
Jeremy Laws .... thanks
David Lemieux .... thanks
Doug Lindsay .... special thanks
Midge Mackenzie .... special thanks: Mohawk Productions, London
David Maltby .... thanks
Henri Mathon .... special thanks
John McDermott .... thanks
Dennis McNally .... special thanks
Gil Moore .... thanks
Peter Moses .... special thanks
Nick Nouwen .... thanks
Bill O'Farrell Jr. .... very special thanks
Ian Parker .... thanks
Glen Phillips .... thanks
Jeff Plunkett .... special thanks
Wes Pritchett .... special thanks
Robbie Robertson .... special thanks
Tony Rose .... thanks
Michiel Scholten .... special thanks
Cameron Sears .... special thanks
Alvin Stroyny .... special thanks
Kevin Sullivan .... special thanks
Yoni Tabac .... special thanks
Henk Talsma .... special thanks
Chris Taylor .... special thanks
Jeremy Thomas .... special thanks
Jan-Willem van den Dorpel .... special thanks
Frank Van Nieuwburg .... special thanks
Ken Walker .... very special thanks
Paul White .... special thanks
Dave Williams .... very special thanks
Steve Yeung .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some language
UK:90 min | USA:90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

In the "C.C. Rider" jam scene, Jerry Garcia can be seen playing the famous rosewood Fender Telecaster played by George Harrison in the last public performance of The Beatles, on the roof of Apple Headquarters. It was loaned to Garcia by Delaney Bramlett; the two can be seen on-stage together during the jam. Harrison had given it to Bramlett after they toured together briefly.See more »
Movie Connections:
Don't Ease Me InSee more »


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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Channeling the Big Guy under Big Sky, 16 September 2003
Author: karmacoupe from New York, Toronto

Oh . . . My . . . God!

Yer gonna die! 33 years from filming to the screen. But here it is!

If you like The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, and/or that era, A) you're gonna Love this, and B) as a documentary of the time this is rivaled only by Woodstock.

In fact, there's a quote by some musician in the film about: "Woodstock was a treat for the audience; the Festival Express was a treat for the performers." Apparently it was a non-stop jam session & party from beginning to end. Buddy Guy jokes, "I couldn't go to sleep cuz I thought I'd miss something!" The Grateful Dead's lyricist Robert Hunter later wrote a song about it -- "Never had such a good time in my life before / I'd like to have it one time more." And Janis says at the last show, "Next time you throw a train, man, call me."

This was a rock festival "tour" across Canada in the summer of 1970. The idea was to create Multiple mini-Woodstocks by having a train take all the bands to the next site. They ended up pulling off three of them - in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary. But this being Canada in the last century, there's only like 5 or 10,000 people in the Peg and Cowtown!

The guy who was in charge of filming it back then told me they had 5 cameramen and a total crew of about 20. There was apparently a dispute over who owned the film, resulting in all this great footage never being seen, and reminding me of the similar squabbles over that other great cinema verite classic Pull My Daisy by Robert Frank. Both Daisy and this Express really document their respective peaks in creative history vibrantly & honestly, showing both the crazy drunken joyride and the brilliant peaks of pure channeled genius.

Other films in this chapter would include Monterey Pop, The Last Days of The Fillmore, Big Sur, then The Last Waltz a few years later. They sometimes use split-screens to show both the audience and the performers, and apparently the director who finally turned the footage into a film also did the Beatles Anthology, so it's kind of like that - all this historic footage interspersed with new interview snippets by the various participants, like Bob Weir remembering, "Most all of us were new to drinking at that point. We'd all been taking LSD or smoking pot or whatever, but this was a whole new experience for us!" Ah, Canada!

And talk about Big Railroad Booze -- there's a hilarious part where they run out in Saskatchewan: CN Conductor: They drank us dry! Promoter: When's the next stop? Conductor: We're not scheduled for a stop. Promoter: You are now.

Then Eric Andersen looking back, shakin his head, "I dunno, they just stopped in Saskatoon, the whole damn train stopped, like, In Front of a liquor store!"

It's one of those movies where you're laughing so hard you miss stuff, or you're so busy watching Rick Danko you forget Janis and Jerry are beside him. It's filled with so many glistening gold treasures you're gonna come away richer just watching it. Masters channeling some force beyond . . . makes me think of people I've met who don't believe there's a God of any kind, no larger spiritual anything. This movie sure reinforced for me that there's Some spirit force out there, and Rick Danko and Janis and Richard Manuel are channeling it right before your eyes!

And Deadheads are gonna freak! There are 3 songs by the original 6-member band, but more importantly, Jerry Garcia is really shown in his prime. Not only is he central to seemingly every train-car jam, but when there's trouble with the crowds in Toronto, it's Garcia who comes to the microphone to plead for "coolness". I believe it's the new Dennis McNally book on the Dead that says Garcia learned their eventual staple Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad from Delaney & Bonnie on this trip, and you actually see Delaney playing it on the train at one point.

Janis is so possessed & clearly channeling The Big Guy to close the final show of the tour and the film, it's so sad this lifeforce died accidentally just 2 months later. People were literally crying in the theater at her performance. I mean, the audience was so captivated, they broke out in applause Mid-song when she came back from her spontaneous stage rap to nail Cry Baby at the Winnipeg show.

And this is by far the loosest and rockingest original Band I've ever seen or heard. The Last Waltz is of course white hot, but they're polished to perfection. This is The Band of the Basement Tapes, except playing in their home country and even more electrified - they're hanging with the Dead on the road, not Dylan in a basement :-) It's the kind of stuff you always wished you saw or were there for. Now, Bing!

I caught it at the Toronto Film Festival (Sept. '03) and sure hope for everyone's sake this finds wide distribution, then an excellent DVD avec outtakes comes out!

Was the above review useful to you?
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Janis Joplin wonderstuff1408
John Lennon's idea campresort
How sad that Janis died a few months later suezycreamcheese
And finally, a word from Mr. Yeats Bolobus
When do the rest of us get to see it? davidhanson
was this footage in a movie in 1970? terezib
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