1969 was a monumental year in the United States: man set foot on the moon for the first time, demonstrators continued to protest the Vietnam War, hippie fashion was in style with peace signs and long unkempt wild hair adorned with anti-establishment phrases, and one of the greatest music festivals of all times was held – Happy Anniversary to WOODSTOCK!
Held August 15-18, 1969, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair was billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”. The epic music celebration was held at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, which is southwest of the town of Woodstock. The organizers assured the town of Bethel to expect no more than 50,000 people. We know now that they were a bit “far out” on their numbers!
Over 100,000 tickets were sold well before the weekend of the festival, rendering them useless as swarms of people overtook the concert grounds for the one of the grooviest events ever. The paid event became a free public concert. In the end, the peaceful hippies numbered half a million and the festivities were greeted with rain, mud, traffic jams, and some of the coolest musical performers ever to gather in one place. How cool? So much so that Rolling Stone Magazine included Woodstock in the list of “50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll”.
Thirty-two acts performed over the course of the four days. The line-up included acts such as Ravi Shankar, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Santana, Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin with The Kozmic Blues Band, Sly & the Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, The Band, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sha-Na-Na, and Jimi Hendrix.
Two “soundtrack” albums came out of the event. The first was Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More, and Woodstock 2. Both albums included band performance and recordings of stage announcements between songs.
Too bad to those who declined to play the festival – you know what they say about hindsight! On the dubious list of those who “passed” on Woodstock: Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Jeff Beck Group, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Byrds, The Moody Blues, Joni Mitchell and Roy Rogers. Major bummer, man!
Average 1969 Cost of new house = $15,550.00
Average 1969 Income per year = $8,550.00
Average 1969 Monthly Rent = $135.00
Average 1969 Cost New Car = $3,270.00
Average 1969 Price of Gas per Gallon = 35 cents
Value of “being there” for the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair = priceless.
Those who were there will forever remember and be changed by the way the music brought everyone together. According to Michael Lang, Woodstock Ventures festival producer, “That’s what means the most to me – the connection to one another felt by all of us who worked on the festival, all those who came to it, and the millions who couldn’t be there but were touched by it.”
Have you been to Woodstock? Share memories of good times past with the friends who shared this historic and monumental experience with you – Send a BlueMountain.com ecard to let them know you care.
Who are your favorite bands and songs from Woodstock? Share in the comments section!
Sources: thepeoplehistory.com, woodstock.com, wikipedia, woodstockstory.com