An upcoming never-before documented story will recount “the second most important event in rock & roll history.”
“REVIVAL69: The Concert That Rocked the World” will tell the “remarkable, behind-the-scenes story of how a little known, but life-altering music festival came together — against all odds.”
Check out our exclusive first look at the trailer above.
In 1969, a “young, scrappy concert promoter,” John Brower, put his life on the line “to turn his failing Toronto Rock n Roll Revival into a one-day event,” reads a description of the doc. With dismal ticket sales, the concert was nearly cancelled but Brower “took a one-in-a-million chance and invited John Lennon, who said yes, propelling the concert into a massively successful event” — one of three music festivals that changed the world that year.
It was the 11th hour arrival of Lennon who performed with the Plastic Ono Band —which included Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and Alan White — that ignited a truly seminal moment for the 20,000 fans at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium. The performance marked Lennon’s first appearance without the Beatles, triggering his final decision to leave the iconic band forever.
The festival also united rock legends including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent, The Doors and Alice Cooper.
Viewers will see unreleased concert and backstage footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker, the “renowned New York documentary filmmaker who, like Brower, frantically hustles and schemes to put together a crew to shoot the concert” in the upcoming documentary, says director Ron Chapman.
The film, primarily told through the eyes of those who were there, took Chapman, who actually knew of Brower — the film’s protagonist — six years to complete.
“It was a thrill and privilege to spend time with each of the music icons, as well as those who were there, both backstage and in the audience,” Chapman says of the film’s interviews, which he describes as “conversations designed to feel organic.”
“Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World” will open in theatres across select cities in Canada December 16. See the lineup below:
Dec 16-22, Dec 27-29 – Toronto – Hot Docs Cinema
Dec 16-19 – Hamilton – Playhouse Cinema
Dec 16-19 – Waterloo – Princess Cinema
Dec 18 + 22 – Ottawa – Bytowne Cinema
Dec 18, 20, 22, 23 – Vancouver – Vancity
Dec 20-22 – Toronto – Fox Theatre
The film will release on Video On Demand in Canada on Jan. 3, 2023.