US '83 Turned Out to Be a Riot of a Rock Festival—but a Financial Bust
updated 06/13/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/13/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
By Monday, however, the mood was mellow again. A few questioned the astronomical prices paid to some of the performers—Bowie, making his first U.S. appearance in five years, got $1.5 million for a two-hour set—and some griped about the absence of black musicians, notably Michael Jackson and Prince, who apparently turned down invitations. But trouble among the 600,000 attendees was limited to scattered rock-and bottle-throwing in the parking lots. Police made 247 arrests, mostly on drug charges, and 2,467 people were treated at the site's overtaxed aid stations.
The event was the brainchild of Steve Wozniak, 32, co-founder of the Apple computer firm, who is worth $100 million or so. After losing an estimated $4 million on the first US concert last year, he spent about $8 million of his own money on this one—nearly half the total $18 million budget. But Wozniak, surveying the end of US II, sounded unlikely to do US III. "My life is designing computer equipment," he said wearily, estimating losses this year at between $1 million and $7 million. "I'm not a rock promoter."