Woodstock was a music festival that attracted hundreds of thousands of people and changed the face of Rock and Roll. The famous 1969 festival was one of the most profound and prolific musical events in all of history. Here are 28 Woodstock photos that will take you back to 1969.
1. The impact that Woodstock had on music, culture and the world still resonates in society today. With legendary acts from Janis Joplin to The Who, Woodstock will forever go down in history as a musical event with one of the best lineups of all time. The psychedelic experience and celebration of love, music, and peace had a major impact on music and musical events all over the world. Woodstock was a catalyst, which inspired hundreds of music festivals that have since taken place. However, none will quite compare to the legendary Woodstock of ‘69. The first day of the historic festival was August 15, 1969. Over 400,000 people came together on a dairy farm in upstate New York to celebrate music, love, peace and most of all Rock and Roll. The festival was scheduled to be a three-day affair, but ultimately it ended up being four days long, ending on August 18th, 1969.
2. This is one of the original advertisements released to promote the legendary music festival. This rare handbill advertised the first location in Wallkill, New York. However, just weeks prior to the opening of the festival, the town of Wallkill revoked the permit and the festival had to find new grounds.
3. Originally, there were only 186,000 tickets prepared to be sold to festival-goers. However, the festival ended up amassing a much larger crowd than ever thought possible. Over 300,000 people arrived on the first day (Friday), and the organizers made the decision to announce that the event would be free.
4. The youths in attendance of the massive music festival became known as “Woodstock Nation.” The name originated from a book written by activist and Woodstock attendee Abbie Hoffman. The term eventually became a catchphrase for people of the baby boomer generation who followed the values of American counterculture in the 60s and 70s.
5. The festival took place at a dairy farm property that belonged to a man named Max Yasgur. He hosted the festival as a “cause,” believing strongly in freedom of expression. His farm was 600 acres was located in the Catskills near the hamlet of White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York.
6. Woodstock wasn’t just about music, it was about music with a message. Most of the music played that weekend was geared towards the opposition against the Vietnam War. Many people believe that Woodstock is the most iconic music festival and rock concert ever held because of its themes of war and peace.
7. It was a rainy and muddy weekend. Despite the weather, thousands still showed up. Ravi Shankar played through the rain on a Friday night to a committed crowd. On Sunday, Joe Cocker and The Grease Band played “With A Little Help From My Friends.” After their set, a severe thunderstorm halted the festival’s events for several hours.
8. There were no reports or incidents of violence that took place the whole weekend, which is rare for any festival, let alone one this big. The chief medical officer for the event and several other local residents praised the festival goers for the cooperation, generosity, and the good nature that was maintained throughout the event.
9. No official merchandise was ever sold at the festival and it eventually became free to all. Woodstock may just be one of the least commercialized music festivals to ever exist. With loads of people arriving by the tens of thousands, many considered the “fences at Woodstock” to be an oxymoron.
10. A documentary was filmed during the festival called “Woodstock.” It was directed by Michael Wadleigh and edited by Thelma Schoonmaker and Martin Scorsese. The film is 4 hours long and it won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 1970. Warner Bros. backed the documentary, which ended up saving them at a time they nearly went out of business.
11. Max Yasgur’s dairy farm was not confirmed as the location of the concert until mid-July. This was just one month before the festival. A total of 80 lawsuits has been filed against the organizers of the whole event. These fines were finally paid off with the royalties that were earned from the documentary that was released about Woodstock.
12. Janis Joplin is said to have been nervous and even hesitant about performing at Woodstock. She started at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, following Creedence Clearwater Revival. According to reports, Joplin had no idea of the festival’s existence until just a few days before performing on its stage.