Beginnings..
• Woodstock was
assembled through the
joint work of Michael
Lang, John Roberts,
Joel Rosenman, and
Artie Kornfeld.
• Woodstock was a
profit-making venture,
aptly titled "Woodstock
Ventures".
Selling Tickets
• Around 186,000 tickets were sold beforehand
and organizers anticipated approximately
200,000 festival-goers would turn up.
Forget the Tickets!
• The fence was purposely cut in order to
create a totally FREE EVENT, prompting
many more to show up. Est. 500,000
Woodstock the Movie
• The four founders
behind Woodstock
Ventures made Warner
Brothers an offer to
make a movie about
Woodstock.
• It received the Academy
Award for Documentary
Feature, as well as a
nomination for Best
Sound.
Woodstock the Album
• Live album of the
festival was
released in 1970.
• Set of 3 LPs was
highly successful
and popular.
Location Problem?
• The date was set for
August 15-18, 1969.
• It was supposed to be
held in Woodstock,
New York.
• Local opposition
forced it to be moved.
Max Yasgur
• Owner of the farm
where the festival
took place.
• 600 acre farm in
Bethel, New York.
• His son convinced
him to allow the
concert to take place
on his farm.
Max had a Dairy Farm
The Performers
• Many of the biggest
artists of the 60s were
at the Festival.
• Thirty-two of the bestknown musicians of
the day appeared
during the sometimes
rainy weekend.
• Lets meet some…
Joan Baez
• Baez was 6 months
pregnant at the time.
• Appearance at the music
festival in upstate New
York afforded her an
international musical and
political podium,
particularly upon the
successful release of the
like-titled documentary
film.
Janis Joplin
• By most accounts,
Woodstock was not a
happy affair for Joplin.
• Had to wait 10 hours after
arriving at the festival.
• However, did sing 10
songs including a
memorable performance
of “Piece of My Heart”
The Grateful Dead
• Performance was plagued
by technical problems,
including a faulty electrical
ground and members Jerry
Garcia and Bob Weir
reported getting shocked
every time they touched
their guitars.
• Played 4 songs
The Who
• The Who performed
much of Tommy at
Woodstock.
• That performance, and
the ensuing film,
catapulted The Who to
superstar status in the
USA.
• Played 25 songs and
started at 4 am Sunday
morning.
Jefferson Airplane
• They performed in what
Grace Slick called an
early "morning maniac
music" slot at the
Woodstock festival.
• Played 8 songs starting
at 6 am.
– Memorable performance
of “White Rabbit”.
Joe Cocker
• First act on the last
officially booked day
(Sunday); he opened up
the day's events at 2 PM.
• After Joe Cocker's set, a
storm disrupted the
events for several hours.
• Memorable rendition of
“With a Little Help from
my Friends”.
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
• Influential folk rock
group.
• CSNY's recording of the
Joni Mitchell song
memorializing
Woodstock would later
become a hit and the
recording most
associated with the
festival.
Jimi Hendrix
• Hendrix's popularity
eventually saw him headline
the Woodstock music
festival.
• Delivered a historic
performance, which featured
his highly-regarded rendition
of the The Star-Spangled
Banner, a solo improvisation
which stands as a special
symbol of the 1960's era.
Pictures from Woodstock
• The following
slides present a
variety of images
from Woodstock…
Significance of Woodstock
• It was the biggest bash for the
counterculture and is a reminder of the
youthful hedonism and excess of the 60s.
• It was a culmination of what the
counterculture meant - the bands appealed
to the generation that was questioning the
direction of American society.
• At the time, it held the record for the largest
music audience in the world.
Counterculture
To many, the
festival exemplified
the counterculture
of the 1960s and the
"hippie era."
Rolling Stone Magazine
• Woodstock is widely
regarded as one of the
greatest moments in
popular music history.
• It was listed on Rolling
Stone's 50 Moments
That Changed the
History of Rock and
Roll.
Any Problems?
• Although the festival was
remarkably peaceful given
the number of people and
the conditions involved,
there were two recorded
fatalities:
– one from what was believed
to be a heroin overdose
– another caused by an
occupied sleeping bag
accidentally being run over
by a tractor in a nearby
hayfield.
Woodstock a Success
• In tune with the idealistic
hopes of the 1960s,
Woodstock satisfied most
attendees.
• Especially memorable were
the sense of social
harmony, the quality of
music, and the
overwhelming mass of
people, many sporting
bohemian dress, behavior,
and attitudes.