Mar Y Sol: The Puerto Rico International Pop Festival

April 1, 2 and 3, 1972
Vega Baja, Puerto Rico

Tri -fold brochure promoting the Mar Y Sol Festival
courtesy of Special Collections Department, Georgia State University

There were some very real challenges for the Mar Y Sol festival. Including a federal warrant to shut the festival down! You'll read below in Bill Dial's recollection, why it was good that most of the crowd WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION!

The promoters of this international cultural event overcame unbelievable odds and managed to deliver a lasting memorable experience, immortalized on the double album "Mar Y Sol".

Remembering the Mar Y Sol Festival
By Bill Dial
Communications Director for Mar Y Sol
Mar-y-sol was a lifetime changing event for a lot of folks. It seems now like an out of body experience. I can look back at it with some amusement, though at the time we were all in danger of rotting in a Puerto Rican jail.

On the third day of the festival I was standing in front of the stage, behind the corrugated steel barricade that separated us from the 30,000 badly sun-burned and sun-stroked kids who had come down from New York and New Jersey to listen to music in this Vega Baja pasture. It was 104 degrees F., it was raining, and there was some terrible local salsa band filling time on stage. Bill Hanley, the expert sound designer, was standing next to me looking at the crowd. He said, "You know, if anybody out there is having a good time, he's just not paying attention."

There was an injunction the week before the festival, trying to stop it. Those loyalists among us fought it like crazy, got a hot lawyer, went to court and won our case so the show could go on. I found out years later that Alex was praying for us to fail. He already knew the financial disaster this thing was headed for, and an injunction to prevent it would have been exactly what he needed. I think he was torn. Which is typical of Alex. He knew he was going to lose, that the injunction would help him, but he was also devoted to the cause, what we were doing was right if financially unwise. He went ahead anyway, and with courage that inspired all of us to do what, in retrospect, must have been very foolish.

  Original handbill for Mar Y Sol  
courtesy of Special Collections Department,
Georgia State University
It's the only time in my career when my boss -- Alex -- came up to me and said, literally, "There's a federal warrant out for us. Go to the dark van in the lot behind the stage. Don't talk to anyone. Go where they take you." I did as I was told, and was taken to a "safe house," "somewhere on the outskirts of San Juan." For 24 hours I was living in a Humphrey Bogart movie. Later the next day I got on a flight to Atlanta in exactly the way that would get me arrested by the Home Security folks today -- paid in cash, no luggage, false name. Those were the days.


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& Outdoor Shows

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Mar Y Sol Puerto Rico Intl. Pop Festival
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Mar Y Sol Album Cover Art
Original Mar Y Sol Poster
courtesy of Special Collections Department,
Georgia State University

Mar Y Sol Website
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