On this day in 1983, Van Halen headlined the US Festival, a music festival held from 5/28/83 through 5/30/83 at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA. Van Halen performed on “Heavy Metal Day” (5/29/83) as headliners for the record-setting fee of $1.5 million. The 1984 Guinness Book of World Records created a new category based upon the price of this performance.
For lots of cool facts about the US Festival, see our Part 2 of our Full Blast & Top Down article.
US Festival Video Upgrade! On the 30th anniversary of this historic rock ‘n’ roll event, the Van Halen News Desk is debuting the is highest quality footage ever to be seen of Van Halen’s performance at the US Festival. In the video clip above, Van Halen performs “Runnin’ With The Devil”. Thursday we added “(Oh) Pretty Woman” and Friday we debuted high quality performance videos of and “You Really Got Me”/”Happy Trails”.
These three videos make up the full Van Halen segment that aired in a special Showtime presentation back in 1983. Bootleg enthusiasts know that footage of Van Halen’s entire two-hour performance at the US Festival has been in circulation since the ’80s, but is blurry. These three videos are much clearer than the two-hour version and are the highest quality footage from the ’82-’83 time period. (Note that, because this footage was edited for Showtime, the band touched up the lead vocals and background vocals.)
These three videos mark the first additions to our new YouTube channel, the Van Halen Vault. We will be using this channel to premiere some of the greatest Van Halen video and audio to our subscribers. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to be the first to see these awesome videos.
UPDATE 9/25/13: We are sorry to announce that Historic Films Archive, the copyright holder of all the official footage of the US Festival, removed our three US Festival videos from Youtube.