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The first happenings in England were done by a group of artists and poets in Liverpool in 1962, as a result of my reading an article by Allan Kaprow earlier that year. I had been making assemblages, and as with Kaprow, happenings seemed a natural extension. The happenings were presented as part of a Merseyside Arts Festival in 1962 and 1963, along with poetry-and-music and folk-evenings. The “events”, as we called them, quickly became a popular form of entertainment: a mixture of poetry, rock’n’roll and assemblage. The early ones like City (1962), by Adrian Henri/John Gorman/ Roger McGough, used a taped music track. Later events had live music by local “Merseybeat” groups, for instance the Roadrunners and the Clayton Squares, as in Nightblues, 1963.

Adrian Henri, Total Art: Environments, Happenings and Performance. London: Thames and Hudson, 1974, p. 117



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