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.