Stunning footage of Led Zeppelin performing at the Bath Festival of Blues in 1970 was released online

Led Zeppelin Bath Festival 1970
(Kinolibrary)

Stunning footage of Led Zeppelin performing at the Bath Festival of Blues in England on June 28, 1970 was released online on September 29.

LedZepNews has confirmed that the footage, which comprises silent film of the band performing and videos of the band backstage at the festival, is previously unseen footage recorded by Peter Whitehead.

Film library business Kinolibrary published the footage on its YouTube channel across three silent videos.

The emergence of the footage from 1970 raises the question of whether the filmmakers behind the upcoming documentary film “Becoming Led Zeppelin” will seek to include it in their film.

Earlier this month, it was announced that they are re-editing the film a year after its premiere and are still keen to include more footage from the early years of Led Zeppelin.

However, inclusion of the newly emerged Bath Festival footage could see the video clips deleted from YouTube. Other videos known to be featured in the documentary were deleted via copyright claims by the filmmakers.

Peter Whitehead’s long lost footage

LedZepNews reported in 2017 that Whitehead’s footage of the band at the festival was recoverable and that between 20 and 30 minutes of video has survived.

The news that the footage had survived emerged during a talk given at the Royal Albert Hall about Whitehead’s films.

It had previously been rumoured that the Led Zeppelin film was not usable because it was too dark and had been shot using the wrong film stock.

However, Professor Steve Chibnall from De Montfort University who had seen the footage, said the film “is usable because, I mean, it can be, it can be restored now. So you can raise those lighting levels, you can see more digitally.”

“There’s 20 to 30 minutes and a lot of it is backstage. I’ve only seen the footage, I haven’t seen it with sound,” Chibnall said of the Bath Festival footage. Whitehead originally planned to film the band arriving by helicopter, but he got there too late to capture that on film.

A display case at the event included a label from Whitehead’s archive which referenced black and white footage of the event. But Professor Chibnall confirmed that the footage he has seen is in colour.

Chibnall spoke to Classic Rock Magazine later in 2017 about the footage, saying “the Bath Festival footage was a pleasant surprise. Peter [Whitehead] was obviously trusted by the band and Peter Grant and he managed to secure tremendous access — he’s on stage, backstage, interviewing the band, the other acts, the crowd.”

“I know he was unhappy with the footage, that he thought it was too dark, but, let me tell you, I’ve seen it. Some of it is too dark, yes, but I think we can rescue that. There’s a limit to what we can do, obviously, but we have the technology to make it lighter, better, clearer. And a lot of it, before the sun sets, is perfectly fine.”

“I’ve seen parts of the film with Jimmy Page and his bow, and I suspect at some point they’re playing ‘Moby Dick,’ with the drum solo, which Bonham plays with his hands.”

Kinolibrary also published two other videos of the festival showing the crowds which appear to have been filmed by the same filmmakers.

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15 Comments on "Stunning footage of Led Zeppelin performing at the Bath Festival of Blues in 1970 was released online"

  1. OMG
    OMG
    OMG
    OMG

  2. My first festival, great weekend was had.

  3. I went with a few other sailors from Yeovilton. Great line up with very little historic record, I believe. White Bird, by IABD, still on my playlist.

  4. Sure wouldja’ been nice to watch those clips along with the original sound…😐. Duh… Saw them in Louisville ky.in 1977 WITH SOUND! 😜👍

  5. Worst videos I have never heard. Rubbish, I tell you.

  6. Excellent & on my birthday, too!
    Thank you, Universe!

  7. I was there,from Dursley

  8. Roy+JOHN+Watson | 1st October 2022 at 4:19 pm | Reply

    great footage but we need sound

  9. Derek Hickling | 1st October 2022 at 6:44 pm | Reply

    I was at the gig the sound was unbelievably bad

  10. Okay, I know their entire catalog inside and out and can play everything from Z1 through ITtD, but so what? I don’t care about 60yo clips. I can probably play it better than patient play it at his age now!

    • Well everyone else DOES care about 50 year old clips (not 60, maybe you should learn to count). No idea who “Patient” is but, rest assured, no one cares about your playing. Instead of learning other peoples tracks you should write your own and, just maybe, you might become a hundreth as famous as, if your so very, very lucky, that is

  11. Even with no sound: a BLESSING!
    🙌🏽💫

  12. no sound bummer really wanted to hear this!

  13. Is this a good thing or a bad thing I’m confused .I love this band. The more we have of the band more lasting the person that will leave for the next generations to come…

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