What it says:
METHUEN -- The kids sat on the grass and grooved with the music. The adults - who a month ago were opposed to the whole thing - sat on their front lawns, didn't pay admission, and also grooved with the music.
The cops - all 20 of them - stood there with little or no police work to do and grooved with the 1,200 kids.
It was the most orderly riot ever staged - and despite all the stumbling blocks thrown in its path, the Utopia Rock Fest yesterday was a total success.
One young patrolman with modish side-burns and a couple of kids of his own called it: "A great credit to these kids. The crowds are far worse at a football game."
Then he headed for a hot dog stand - there wasn't anything else for him to do.
A veteran sergeant with a reputation as a tough cop, especially when it comes to young people using drugs, was cynical at first but by the end of the afternoon had nothing but praise for the audience and the utopia Coffee House Team.
Another patrolman - who didn't care too much for the music but enjoyed the way the kids behaved - was telling his colleagues about the roast of beef that awaited him at home.
And then there were two poor cops on Stadium Road and Davis Road - far from the stadium. They were sent there because neighbors had expected "God knows how many kids to descend on the neighborhood looting and burning as they went."
So the two men stood on their quiet streets waving at an occasional passing car.
The neighbors, though, made a nice day of it for the most part. Despite assurances earlier that they would be at the concert - "to help out these kids (Utopia)" - few if any were in the audience.
However, there was a good group on the lawns across the street and hanging over the backyard fences adjacent to the stadium. There they didn't have to pay to hear the music.
Their only complaint - as reported by one patrolman - "the music isn't quite loud enough. They're having trouble hearing it."
The real test of the kid - cop relationship came when the fest committee obtained...
Continued on Page 23...
| I didn't Save Page 23. But you can see the pictures from the newspaper on Page 34 Here | And here.
Under the picture above:
Staff Photo by Jeff Northrup
DRUMMER Wilson Brown of the Boston Group "Sweet Rain" does his thing at Methuen Rock Fest. More Fest Photos on Page 34. (See links above)