5/28/1983: The Start of ‘Us Festival ’83’
The four day "US Festival '83'" (US pronounced like the pronoun, not as initials) took place 60 miles east of Los Angeles on Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30. (the 'fourth' day took place the following weekend)
It was funded by, Steve Wozniak, one of the co-founders of Apple, who paid for the bulldozing and grading of the land, and the building of the stage and all additional costs.
Day 1 (Saturday, May 28th) was called ” New Wave Day,” with INXS; A Flock of Seagulls; The Clash, and more.
Day 2 (Sunday, May 29th) was “Heavy Metal Day,” with Quiet Riot; Mötley Crüe; Ozzy Osbourne; Judas Priest; Scorpions; Van Halen, and more.
Day 3 (Monday, May 30th) was “Rock Day,” with U2; The Pretenders; Joe Walsh; Stevie Nicks; David Bowie, and many others.
There was also fourth day called “Country Day,” but it was held on the following weekend.
Tickets were ONLY $20/day. nightflight.com reported that Heavy Metal Day set a new single-day concert attendance record: more than 375,000 tickets were sold for Day #2 of the 670,000 tickets sold for all four days. (high temps in the 90s didn't deter the fans)
Nightflight also says that Van Halen was paid a then-record $1.5 million to appear at the festival. However, the band made the audience wait three hours before they came out, and David Lee Roth was allegedly so wasted he couldn’t remember the words to the songs, and continued to drink on stage, as seen in the videos below.
So was it a success? Nope. Combined with the first 'US Festival' held the prior Labor Day weekend, it's reported that Steve Wozniak lost upwards of $20 million. He's doing alright thought -- moneyinc reports that he has a net worth of over $120 million.