2019: The 50th anniversary Woodstock Festival is scheduled for August 16-18, 2019 on the original Woodstock site.
History of Woodstock ’69
On three days from August 15 to 17th happend THE Music Festival larger than life: Woodstock ’69.
The festival name originated from the venue that was planned originally: Woodstock, New York State. Woodstock was also home to Bob Dylan.
But the venue was moved to Bethel in Sullivan County (60 mi from Woodstock) before the festival started. Today visitors find a small gravestone like memorial at West Shore / Hurd Road, Bethel, NY.
The festival was funded and organized by Max Yusgur, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld, and Michael Lang. Roberts, heir of a drugstore or pharmaceutical company, sponsored allegedly the major portion of the money: Woodstock cost is estimated to 2.5 million Dollars.
Yusgur was the dairy farmer who provied the ca. 150.000 square meters (for alleged 50 grands) land where the festival took place. All of them were not very experienced in setting up such an event. Even when they expected ‘only’ 200.000 people to show up and couldn’t foresee the nearly half million that flocked to Bethel…the festival was lousy organized. Too few restrooms, not enough drinking water, not enough medical personnel, … and so on.
But who really came for drinking water? It was ’69, the time of the rising counterculture, Flower Power was on it’s way. Volkswagen vans, painted in flashy colors, long-haired folks, sparely dressed or in colorful T-Shirts, slightly stoned… yeah, that’s what Woodstock stood and stands for. Even lousier than the organization was the weather. It rained, the venue became muddy, people and location began to smell lacking sanitary equipment, …but again: who cares? Everybody had fun, was happy, and they all made Woodstock a legend. Later generations could only regret not having been at the right place at the right time when Joe Cocker, Santana, Jimi Hendrix (died Sep 18, 1970), Janis Joplin (died Oct 4, 1970), The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby/Stills & Nash, and others rocked in Bethel.
Those who attended the spectacle call themselves: the Woodstock Nation.
Woodstock II in 1994
In 1994 it was tried to revive and relive the old times: Woodstock II took place. The only thing that was comparable to Woodstock ’69 was the rain. Anyhow, it was a fantastic and successful concert with mega groups and artists like Metallica, Melissa Etheridge, Joe Cocker, Salt-n-Pepa, and others.