The 1972 Mariposa Festival held at Toronto Islands from July 14th to 16th faced record rainfalls, turning part of the island into a muddy swamp. The festival director Estelle Klein was absent from the festival for the first time in twelve years, leaving Leigh Cline in charge. Part of Saturday was rained out resulting in shutting down sound systems.
Although the weather was poor it did not affect the festival attendance as people huddled together under umbrellas and sheets to try and stay dry. The reputation built from earlier years resulted in an increase in out-of-town festival attendees as well as musicians. The festival also attracted some well known visitors, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan and Jackson Browne attended to see the ‘new’ Mariposa and some were interested in performing.
Since the festival had changed its structure away from big name acts, the festival organizers debated as to whether or not to allow their guests to perform. In the end, Murry McLauchlan opted to fore go part of his performance and presented it to Joni Mitchell. This was followed by Bruce Cockburn doing the same for Neil Young on the Sunday of the festival. This year proved to be of great excitement for the audience as they saw a wide range of acts such as Shelly Posen, Leon Redbone, Original Sloth Band as well as the unexpected visitors.