Festival Express
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In 1970 a train journeyed across Canada carrying some of the greatest rock bands of all time. Janis Joplin, The Band, The Grateful Dead, Ian & Sylvia, Buddy Guy, Delaney & Bonnie, and others lived (and partied) for five days, giving concerts where and when they stopped. The train was called the Festival Express. Nicknamed the million dollar bash by Rolling Stone Magazine Festival Express was designated to capitalize on then-burgeoning craze for multi-day, talent heavy music festivals. Festival Express was planned as a festival with a difference--it would be portable. This proved to be stamp of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There are sterling concert performances by several bands in peak form."
‑ Richard Harrington, Washington Post
"It's the overnight jam sessions that steal the show."
‑ Steve Morse, Boston Globe
"It's touching to see rock stars in such a raw, uncommercial state. And the film, shot on rich-grained 16 mm, has none of the hyper, fast-cutting style of contemporary concert videos."
‑ Brian D. Johnson, Maclean's Magazine
"Both drive-thru snapshot travelogue of nomad alternative culture, and one-of-a-kind caught moments of intimate jam sessions."
‑ Prairie Miller, Long Island Press
"A very well-assembled piece."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"A delirious piece of pop ephemera, a time capsule set on the cusp between the Summer of Love and the Day the Music Died."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Man, what were they smoking? Oh, yeah, right. That."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"The music was fabulous--a reason enough to cherish this first-rate documentary."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"It captures a pure moment in time when musical hearts and minds beat as one, when musicians of all stripes came together to work and play hard and leave behind one damn fine-looking corpse."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"A fascinating, tuneful excursion into the Woodstock Nation, circa 1970."
‑ Jack Garner, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
"What's most revealing and human about Festival Express are its candid looks at artists bonding aboard the choo-choo."
‑ Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle
"A good snapshot of an earlier, simpler, more innocent time that seems now even longer ago than it was."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"ultimately feels a little like warm leftovers"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Divided between time-capsule concert footage ... and backward-glancing interviews - alas, not enough of the former and too much of the latter."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"A rock 'n' roll time capsule that may be the final, great chronicle of the musical brilliance of the late 1960s."
‑ Jeffrey Bruner, Des Moines Register
More reviews for Festival Express on Rotten Tomatoes