As much as we would like to consider ourselves free and liberal, the truth is that, in some ways, the hippie era is still far from being achieved or passed. The cultural emancipation begun in the 60s was completed in the 80s and represents one of the most prolific cultural eras of our times. From wide-legged jeans to large festivals, consumption of alcohol and easy drugs and writing music, this era had it all.
And, with a history of nearly 50 years, the Woodstock festival definitely remains as one of the key-events from that time. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair were held on the property of a rich farmer man from New York, close to the Woodstock city in New York. The history of the festival is rich, diverse, and interesting so if you’re willing to find out the best things about the 1969 Woodstock Festival, here is what you need to know.
It didn’t happen in Woodstock
As we have already mentioned, the Woodstock Festival is informally named like that as it didn’t actually happen in the city of Woodstock, New York. The terrain that was used belonged to a rich farmer man named Max Yasgur.
It was the subject of a documentary movie
The first and most iconic edition of the festival took place on 15-18th August 1969. It became sort of a tradition for the festival to be held once each ten years, so the next active years were 1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009. However, there was also a festival in 1994.
The 1969 and the first edition of the festival was documented in a three-hour movie in which the director captured both the best musical moments of the festival, as well as the enthusiastic reaction of the crowd.
Each day of the festival was dedicated to a special musical genre, and the first edition was opened with a concert by Richie Havens, a folk artist. Some of the world’s most popular musicians and bands ended up performing at the 1969 edition of Woodstock, including Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, The Who, Joe Cocker, Neil Young, and Jimi Hendrix.
There were other invitations sent to the “gods” of music such as The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and Bob Dylan, but they all ended up refusing to perform at the festival.
The largest outdoor festival ever held
Initially, the location was supposed to hold a few thousand people but the idea started fading away as massive amounts of people headed towards Woodstock even long after all tickets were sold out.
In the end, it was estimated that around half of million people actually managed to attend the festival, even though police patrols sent back hundreds of cars because there was literally no more room.