How the legendary rock festival took place in 1969
Exactly 50 years ago, a landmark event took place in the world of music – the Woodstock rock festival. The resounding success of this event could never be repeated again. A whole constellation of now legendary artists such as: The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Janice Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joan Baez, Jimi Hendricks, Grateful Dead, Ravi Shankar, Carlos Santana and many others. But this is not the main thing. It’s not even that literally a year later the festival headliners Janice Joplin and Jimi Hendrix passed away. Never again managed to repeat the whole unique atmosphere of this inimitable action, which became the end of the era of “children of flowers.” How was that?
Woodstock Music and Art Fair (Woodstock Music & Art Fair, colloquially Woodstock) – one of the most famous rock festivals. He passed three days, from August 15 to August 18, 1969, on one of the farms of the town in the countryside of Bethel, New York, USA. The number of visitors is about 500 thousand, of which 1,500 are journalists.
This epic festival has become a true legend. In America they say this: “If you can’t remember Woodstock, then you weren’t there!” But, of course, many records have been preserved. And even now we can plunge into that unique atmosphere of music, unity and love.
The story of Woodstock, who turned 50 this year, is different from what we can imagine. What started out like a lot of rock and roll and just having a good time didn’t go as expected. The experience was difficult, with its share of tears, tragedy and T-shirts with a tie. Here’s a frank account of how it was …
Woodstock’s founding fathers, one might already call them that, were two New York entrepreneurs. Initially, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, together with Artie Kornfeld and producer Michael Lang, planned to create a music studio. But then the project outgrew itself. They wanted more and they decided that it would be a grand live concert. Such as the world has not yet seen. Four established Woodstock Ventures Inc.
The concert was planned as an event with local flavor. With guest musicians like Bob Dylan, recognizable and loved. The venue was to be the city of Walkil. But the company did not come to a consensus with the city authorities. And the festival could not have taken place at all. Help came in the face of dairy farmer Max Yasgur. He owned land in the highlands of Bethel, where a concert could be organized under the summits of Catskill. An agreement was reached: Roberts, Rosenman, Kornfeld and Lang were on their way to festival greatness.
“We did not think whether it would become a legend or not,” Rosenman told The Guardian this year, “but from the very beginning we knew that it would be something unusual.” The announced title, “The Aquarius Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music,” has disappeared in history. Woodstock remembered the story.
The organization was very complex. Thousands of nuances related to health and safety had to be foreseen. Gather so many outstanding musicians on one stage. It was planned to attend the festival by 100 thousand people. But it turned out to be many times more willing. The organizers told the authorities 50 thousand, 186 thousand were sold tickets, and 500 thousand gathered! And almost the same could not reach because of terrible traffic jams.
Imagine – all these people had to be placed somewhere and fed something. The organizers were not ready for this, of course. Cars blocked all roads at the entrance to the place. Local entrepreneurs have skyrocketed prices. An angry audience in revenge burned a catering point. After that, food had to be delivered to the pacifist festival by military aircraft. Hundreds of volunteers were cooking. Food was sent to charities.
There were also troubles with weather conditions: it rained, the roads were washed out. There was dirt and damp everywhere. Unsanitary conditions reigned on the field. But this did not spoil the atmosphere at all, although it caused a lot of inconvenience.
The slogans of the festival were peace and harmony.