Terrastock was a festival curated by Phil McMullen, a former editor of the Ptolemaic Terrascope and since 2005 the publisher of the Terrascope Online website. The event, set in different locations with each festival, typically features independent bands playing psychedelic rock.
The first Terrastock event was initially conceived by Phil McMullen and Robert Jaz of the Providence, Rhode Island based band V. Majestic in the winter of 1996/1997. Robert Jaz had asked McMullen about holding a benefit concert in Providence, RI for the Ptolemaic Terrascope Zine. As the two formulated a plan for the benefit which quickly grew into more of a festival idea, McMullen suggested the name Terrastock and the two agreed. A wishlist lineup was conceived and sometime later th festival was then fully organized by McMullen and Jaz along with Mark Stone of the Providence-based band Medicine Ball. Alongside the organizers as well for the initial editon were the Newport, RI based record label Flydaddy, which was run by former Sub Pop employees, Kevin O'Leary and Adam Silverman. Flydaddy had previously released a Ptolemaic Terrascope benefit compilation called 'Succor.'
An arrangement was made with a friend of Robert Jaz's, the poster artist, James Draper, who was also the operator of an art gallery/speakeasy performance space called The Renegade Gallery/The Rogue Lounge which was located in Providence within an industrial space in the old Atlantic Mills.
Notably, Bardo Pond and the band Windy & Carl performed at all seven incarnations of the festival.
In November 2010 McMullen "unashamedly" admitted that the Terrastock festivals "were directly influenced and inspired by the now legendary Zig Zag Benefit Concert".
Terrastock took place the weekend of April 25-27, 1997 at the Rogue Lounge in Providence, Rhode Island. This three day festival was conceived in the spirit of peace, love and understanding (so to speak), and as a fund raising measure for the long-running and consistently excellent PTOLEMAIC TERRASCOPE Magazine. Witch Hazel were intended to play on the 25th but no-showed.
There was additional music throughout the weekend in a smaller room (the Rogue Lounge itself) performed by Tom Rapp, Windy & Carl, Barbara Manning, and others.
Terrastock II took place the weekend of April 17-19 of 1998, at the Custer Avenue Stages, 1598 Custer Ave., at Rankin. Custer Ave is in India Basin between Army and Evans, two blocks west of Third, in San Francisco USA. It was billed as "Terrastock West" and had association with Aquarius Records and Danno Booking.
Terrastock III (AKA TERRASTOCK UK, the London Ptolemaic Perambulation.) took place the weekend of August 27th, 28th and 29th 1999 at the ULU (the University of London) in London, England. It was the first (and only) Terrastock to be held in the UK, where the curators of the festival originated.
Notably, there was also a third stage area where performers could sign up for and do their own spontaneous sets or weird collaborations, purely on the concept on disorganization and spontaneity. Performers on this stage included Pat Orchard, Warser Gate w/ Steve Hanson (doing "Can of Stella Overdrive"), Staff Party (with members of Fuxa, Azusa Plane, Azalia Snail, Piano Magic, Warser Gate, and a guest spot from John the stage manager), Petrocat (Nick and Debbie Saloman), Autumn Leaves, Jamie Owen, Brendan (of Abunai) and Carl (of Windy), Lothars and Carl, Bevis Frond and Friends (Saloman, Shaw, various Alchemysts and ROD GOODWAY), and Tom Rapp with Prydwyn.
The fourth Terrastock festival of arts and music took place over the weekend of November 3rd - 5th, 2000. The venue chosen was the historic Showbox, located in downtown Seattle, Washington, USA. Like all past Terrastocks, this event was open to ALL AGES. This was the last year the Terrastock festival would be held in consecutive years.
The fifth Terrastock festival of arts and music takes place this year over the weekend of October 11-13, 2002. It was held at Axis in Boston, Massachusetts.
Notably, Time-Lag Records released a very special five 7inch set in conjunction with TERRASTOCK 5. The set will feature one full 7" each by The Idiatrod, Stone Breath, Charalambides, Bardo Pond, and Sonic Youth. Each 7" will come in its own letterpressed uni-pak style gatefold sleeve. For those who bought the full set, there was a die-cut wrap-around box to hold them all. It was entirely exclusive tracks and limited to 500 copies.
Terrastock 6 took place at The Pell Chafee Performance Center in Providence, Rhode Island on April 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 2006. It ended up being the first time Terrasrock returned to a city and the only time to do so.
Notably, a pre-show party was held on April 20th, 2006 at AS220 in Providence, Rhode Island.