The first page of the ‘Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music’ Twenty Fifth Anniversary CD Box Set booklet reads:
The premise was quite simple: put enough top-flight rock & roll entertainment together in one place for a long weekend and the world will beat a path to your door.
Sure, the premise was simple, although I’m not sure anyone truly expected “the world” to show up to Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York, on Friday 15th of August, 1969.
It was promoted as ‘An Aquarian Experience: Three Days of Peace and Music’, costing $6.00 dollars per day to attend, and featuring an impressive line up of some of the best rock n roll acts at the time – minus a few who passed on the opportunity or missed out. Around 186,000 tickets were initially sold, but when 50,000 festival attendees arrived to camp out before construction of fences and ticket booths had been completed, a decision was made to make the festival free.
Add to that a lot of rain, mud, a limited number of food or amenities, major traffic jams and a bad batch of acid, and yet the overall vibe of the festival was really of ‘peace and music’. It was the event that created stars, from Santana to Crosby Stills & Nash who had only played one gig before, Stephen Stills announcing “This is only our second gig man and we’re scared shitless!”
Glenn A. Baker described Wooodstock as
The climax of 60s rock culture, the flowering of the flower children’s utopian dream, Woodstock was a temporary city – with politics, misdemeanours, births and deaths, and all manner of jams.
Of the literally thousands of festivals that have dotted the landscapes over half a century, Woodstock remains the yardstick against which they are all measured.
So the world did beat a path to the door of Max Yasgur’s farm. Even though over 400,000 people did attend, there were an estimated 250,000 who never made it to the site. Imagine if they did!
This weekend, Vintage FM will be celebrating the 50th anniversary with a Woodstock Weekend. Each hour, we will feature a mini-concert from an artist – it will be the real performance, as heard at Woodstock! Starting 8am Saturday, thanks to Travel Care St Marys.
Don’t forget to also tune into Vintage FM on Sunday morning from 9am for Glenn A. Baker’s Time Tunnel, where he will debut the first part of a two part series on Woodstock.