SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- The US Festival successfully managed a satellite link with the Soviet Union Saturday night, but it was too dark for American rock fans to wave back to those peeking from behind the Iron Curtain.
The two-way satellite link was nearly made Friday night as festival goers were shown three of the concert organizers from Russia narrating 'home movies' they shot last week from a tour bus in Moscow.
The idea was to get the festival's more than 200,000 rock fans and Soviet residents to interact via television -- waving to each other as the music played.
In a move that angered festival sponsors, concert promoter Bill Graham Friday night pulled the plug on the satellite hookup because it was running over into the time slot allotted to the headline concert group, The Police, and the two-way link was not completed.
But Graham took the stage Saturday to introduce a five-minute, two-way hookup, shown on giant screens.
'Here's something interesting you should see,' he told the crowd.
The hookup alternated between clips of youths in what looked like a Moscow disco, middle-aged Russian folk dancers and an aeriel shot of the US festival concert site.
Although it was too dark for any of the Americans to be seen waving, many were nonetheless impressed.
It's not too often you get to seen anything in Moscow,' Craig Athey, 22, of Anaheim, said. 'I think it means something, that maybe the younger people don't want to fight us.'
On Friday night, there was a smattering of applause when the video from Russia was chopped and some of the youthful fans had some unprintable comments about the Soviets.
Peter Ellis, president of the company running the festival, said organizers wanted to share the music with the Soviet fans as part of the theme of the festival.
'The US Festival has a real simple theme,' he said. 'We are all different but let's see if we can get along. What we want to do is send a message to the world that maybe America and Russia can get along. We want to show the world Russians and Americans partying together.
'We all have a common goal of survival. We have a program in us, biologically, that says we want to survive.'