Mississippi River Festival – July 29, 1975

The Mississippi River Festival 1975 was a festival sponsored by Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, IL. This festival was during the One Of These Nights tour. JD Souther opened for the Eagles. It was an annual festival, and the Eagles were also at the MRF in 1974 and the Spring Fest May 25, 1973. The Mississippi River Festival was in existence in Edwardsville from 1969-1980. A history of the festival was written about in this article in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student newspaper.

A lot of fun and silly photos were taken in Edwardsville before the MRF concert by photographer Ken Regan.

At the Bluff Holiday Inn before the Mississippi River Festival concert in Edwardsville, IL – July 29, 1975

Don Henley, Don Felder, Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner, and Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner, Don Henley, and Don Felder

The Bluff Holiday Inn in Edwardsville, IL is where the Eagles and other bands stayed for the Mississippi River Festivals and where a lot of these pre-concert photos were taken by Ken Regan – July 29, 1975

Bluff Holiday Inn in Edwardsville, IL
Mississippi River Festival - July 29, 1975
Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, IL) – July 17, 2014

Randy Meisner, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Don Felder

Afternoon sound check at MRF
Eagles went onstage (outdoor venue) later in the evening shortly before 10:00 pm and opened with “Take It Easy” before the second-largest crowd in MRF history.

Randy Meisner, Glenn Frey, Don Henley (on drums), Bernie Leadon, and Don Felder

Randy Meisner

Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon

Glenn Frey

Backstage at MRF

Randy Meisner

Bernie Leadon, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey

Bernie Leadon, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley

Doug Thompson was the reporter who covered the MRF for the Alton Telegraph in 1975. He had interviewed the Eagles backstage after the show, and this is what he wrote after Glenn died.

Mississippi River Festival - July 29, 1975

Blue Ridge Muse – Jan. 18, 2016

The Eagles photo in this ad is from their previous year (1974) MRF appearance.

Record World magazine full-page ad – July 19, 1975

Aerial view of a Mississippi River Festival crowd

The Edwardsville Intelligencer – July 29, 1975

“The Eagles are one of the few groups around that sound as good on stage as they do on records.”

The Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, IL) – July 30, 1975

The Eagles took the stage shortly before 10:00 pm and opened with “Take It Easy”.

Alton Telegraph (Alton, IL) – July 30, 1975

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” one health service staffer said during the concert. “This is worse than The Who.”

“Tuesday night’s concert kept health service staffers busy until after midnight treating bruises, cuts, scrapes and other injuries from flying bottles, broken glass and fights.”

Alton Telegraph (Alton, IL) – July 30, 1975

Mississippi River Festival - July 29, 1975
Alton Telegraph (Alton, IL) – July 31, 1975

“Three rock concerts this year — Yes, Dave Mason and the Eagles — drew more than 20,000 persons, with the Eagles bringing in 29,700, the second-largest single attendance in festival history (The Who drew the most with 32,000 in 1971).”

Alton Telegraph (Alton, IL) – Aug. 21, 1975

“I’ve seen true rock fans get high listening to the music. If the group is really worth its salt, that’s all you need.”

Alton Telegraph (Alton, IL) – Aug. 23, 1975

Mississippi River Festival 1975 season video

The Eagles aren’t included in this video, but REO Speedwagon and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with John McEuen are. The video abruptly cuts off at the end.

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