The 1969 Woodstock Festival: What Happened Then?

Published on 02/01/2021
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Are you of those who believe that they were born in the wrong era? It would also have been unbelievable to score a Woodstock ticket in 1969. While five decades have passed since the end of the Woodstock era, we can not deny that its legacy continues. Take a look at these images that will make you wish you had been around back then. The festival served as a cultural landmark that really captured the free-spirited nature and sense of freedom embodied by young people in those days.

The 1969 Woodstock Festival: What Happened Then?

The 1969 Woodstock Festival: What Happened Then?

Chilling Out

If you were lucky enough to attend the festival, you would have seen people resting in strange positions and places. It was a completely outdoor festival, meaning that for its duration, attendees camped out. Take a look at this guy who found the perfect spot to doze off between these two vehicles. Although it doesn’t seem to be the safest place to rest, the cowboy did not seem to mind it! He probably didn’t think the car would go anywhere, so what else would they have to do but just relax and take it easy?

Chilling Out

Chilling Out

The Challenge Of Getting There

First off: transportation. To get into the event, you’d have to join tens of thousands of other people who flocked to Bethel, New York. Parking lots appeared to be the roads! It is not surprising to hear that people have decided that they should just go on foot. The roads eventually closed down, which meant that the road leading to the festival was not even managed to reach by some people.

The Challenge Of Getting There

The Challenge Of Getting There

The Legendary Jimi Hendrix

Three whole days before Jimi Hendrix finally came on stage, festivalgoers had to wait. Undoubtedly, his Star-Spangled Banner rendering has become so legendary that many associate it with the festival. A temporary crew was the band he performed at Woodstock with. The usual band broke up before the festival, so he needed to find people immediately.

The Legendary Jimi Hendrix

The Legendary Jimi Hendrix

Janis Joplin Stayed

Janis Joplin was also at Woodstock. She received $7,500 for her set! Because of her “Piece of My Heart” performance, most people remember her appearance. Aside from this, she also belted out several other songs during the second day. The entire band was flown into the venue via helicopter. The other members remember how she told them to play like it was any other gig. When the show ended, she stuck around at Woodstock to enjoy the rest of the festival with the festivalgoers!

Janis Joplin Stayed

Janis Joplin Stayed

A Surprise John Sebastian Set

John Sebastian’s Woodstock performance was not actually scheduled, but it was still unforgettable. He attended the festival but agreed when the organizers asked him to perform as an acoustic guitar player. Overall, he played 3 unreleased songs on top of two others. What an icon!

A Surprise John Sebastian Set

A Surprise John Sebastian Set

Bigger Than They Thought

In the beginning, the plan was to hold it, which was a favorite of many musicians, in the summer arts colony called Woodstock. Wallkill, New York, was the first festival location, though. They expressed objections to it when the locals found out how big it was going to be. They were not prepared for the 400,000 attendees that ended up coming, despite the planning. They had only 50,000 people in mind!

Bigger Than They Thought

Bigger Than They Thought

No Place For Discrimination

Discrimination had no place at Woodstock. Anyone might come, regardless of their race, gender, and age. The parents took with them their children. This little one looked particularly thrilled to be there! How adorable is that? Children not only attended the festival, but some babies actually were born there and then. Incredible, right?

No Place For Discrimination

No Place For Discrimination

Sri Swami Satchidananda’s Speech

With an impressive speech, the famous spiritual master, Sri Swami Satchidananda, kickstarted the festival. He said that 400,000 people around to hear him talk about the energy and sound power the universe is governed by. According to him, it was stronger than anything in the world.

Sri Swami Satchidananda’s Speech

Sri Swami Satchidananda’s Speech

The Place To Be

Daisies, tie-dye clothes, and hippiedom, which many consider the major cultural event of the 1960s, represent Woodstock’s representative. It was simply the location to be. All the teenagers and their friends and lovers wanted to spend time, be free, and enjoy the amazing music. We must admit that the prospect sounds just as appealing today as it did then!

The Place To Be

The Place To Be

Buses And Caravans Aplenty

Scattered across the festival grounds were caravans and abandoned buses. It served as the perfect escape from reality or the chance to enjoy a little privacy! You can be sure that having a vehicle was an amazing thing because you have a place to yourself as the area was filled with so many people.

Buses And Caravans Aplenty

Buses And Caravans Aplenty

Shopping Galore

There were also makeshift shops selling crafts, clothes, and drug paraphernalia. There was only a boost to the aural and visual fest that Woodstock had to offer. These are still common sights at music concerts and festivals, of course. Several people left during the festival itself with tie-dye shirts on their backs! When people arrived without a change of clothes, they had nothing to worry about.

Shopping Galore

Shopping Galore

Odd Sleeping Arrangements

With all the people, music, and psychedelic drugs at their disposal, it is only natural for the attendees to get tired now and then. If all the hoods are taken from the car, how about a motorcycle? A further iconic Woodstock experience would be the strange sleeping spots!

Odd Sleeping Arrangements

Odd Sleeping Arrangements

Choose Your Own Adventure

If you ask us, both “Gentle Path High Way” and “Groovy Way” sound appealing. The latter makes us think of afros and bell-bottom jeans, while the former brings the green countryside images to mind. Isn’t it awesome to think that attendees could explore the “Groovy Way”? We’ve got to admit that we’re a tad envious.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose Your Own Adventure

The Birth Of Jam Sessions

Many people consider the festival to be the birthplace of what we now know as the American drum circle. This applies to the coming together of a group of people to play music together. Perhaps you know it better as a “jam session.” Everyone was influenced by the music being played to create their own music and make instruments with anything they had. The attendees were jammed with friends and strangers alike. It was easy to join in on the fun and make amazing music together!

The Birth Of Jam Sessions

The Birth Of Jam Sessions

Setting Up The Sound System

At Woodstock, the person in charge of sound engineering was Bill Hanley. According to him, the event was very successful. He developed custom speaker columns and placed arrays on the high towers. The arrangement was intended to entertain only 150,000 people. As we already know, the crowd that came was much larger than they had originally anticipated. The sound system was perfect nonetheless.

Setting Up The Sound System

Setting Up The Sound System

A Truly Unique Experience

Don’t you feel a tinge of jealousy whenever you hear what it was like to go to Woodstock? We are certain that it is considered a special moment in their lives by all the participants. We would see all the people wearing colorful clothes, bead necklaces, and love celebrations!

A Truly Unique Experience

A Truly Unique Experience

Fun In The Sun

As mentioned before, many parents have brought their little ones along with them. They had a blast, apart from the music, feeling the sun on their skin! You can be sure that they had the time of their lives when they listened to their favorite musicians playing on stage! Just look at these people!

Fun In The Sun

Fun In The Sun

Families Celebrating Peace, Love, Music

Perhaps this father is the coolest parent anyone has ever had! We bet that your father never brought you to music festivals or let you hop on psychedelic school buses. Meanwhile, the family decided that it was time to break from the activities and enjoy a picnic. Look at them resting and chugging 7 up on the sleeping bags on this grassy field.

Families Celebrating Peace, Love, Music

Families Celebrating Peace, Love, Music

Latin Rock At Woodstock

Latin Rock was brought to the festival by Carlos Santana along with his band. The audience members adored them. He said during an interview with Rolling Stone, “So I said, ‘Hey, I think I’ll take some psychedelics, and by the time I’m coming down, it’ll be time to go on stage, and I’ll feel fine.’ But when I was peaking around two o’clock, somebody said, ‘If you don’t go right now, you’re not gonna go on.’”

Latin Rock At Woodstock

Latin Rock At Woodstock

Love Makes The World Go ‘Round

Sharing was another big thing at Woodstock, which made sense considering the values it upheld. Everyone shared their food because there wasn’t enough to go around. There were far too many individuals, leading to a food shortage. A good thing was the fact that people were celebrating love! To feed everyone, many volunteered on the festival grounds.

Love Makes The World Go 'Round

Love Makes The World Go ‘Round

More Amazing Performances

Over the course of these three days, there have been many musical acts. Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Who was one of those who performed! Although you can attend many other great festivals, do you think there’s going to be another festival that can meet Woodstock’s expectations, or at least live up to them? Well, we doubt it.

More Amazing Performances

More Amazing Performances

Lending A Hand To Those In Need

Love was in the air, as we said during the three-day event. People didn’t hesitate to help each other out when it was necessary. This sense of community separates Woodstock from any music festival before and after it, aside from the music.

Lending A Hand To Those In Need

Lending A Hand To Those In Need

Atop The Roof Of The Vans

In addition to being the stylish way to get around the venue, psychedelic vans were ideal for activities such as this one. Not only were they comfortable, but they provided a great way to see what was going on stage as well. Of course, people could choose to sleep inside the van while waiting for the next musical act. It sounds more attractive, we must say, than a motorcycle or the hood of a car!

Atop The Roof Of The Vans

Atop The Roof Of The Vans

Anything Goes

Typically, people are free to wear anything they want to music festivals. Although most people chose the tie-dye look at Woodstock, some took the chance to stand out and send a message. Do you believe that he was under the influence of drugs at the time? Who knows what message this guy wants to say, even though we must admit that we are impressed by his creativity and dedication.

Anything Goes

Anything Goes

Hugs For All

As another morning broke out on the festival grounds, a photographer took this shot. It displays a couple locked in an embrace as they share a single blanket. They were far from being the only ones huddling for warmth during Woodstock! The sleeping arrangements during the event were truly something else.

Hugs For All

Hugs For All

One For The History Books

The Woodstock Music Festival began on August 15, 1969, as half a million people were waiting for the three-day music festival to start on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York. “An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music,” which would become synonymous with the 1960s counterculture movement and would later be known simply as Woodstock.

One For The History Books

One For The History Books

Unforgettable Music

Truly, it was an event that one will never forget. Of course, it was made all the more special by talented musicians like Janis Joplin, The Who, Santana, Jimmy Hendrix, and Joan Baez. They will always remember their performances as one of the best performances ever performed in the world.

Unforgettable Music

Unforgettable Music

Intimate Hideaways

Even though we would trade anything to listen to those performances, the moments of intimacy shared by the festivalgoers might just be our favorite part of the festival! There is no doubt that, during Woodstock, many people shared extraordinary moments.

Intimate Hideaways

Intimate Hideaways

Time For Chow

While most people look back at Woodstock and realize they need to improve, the biggest takeaway we got was their sense of fashion, how inclusive and communal the concert was. The 400,000 people who were present had to eat, and so they did! (with lots of help)

Time For Chow

Time For Chow

Come Rain or Shine

Woodstock was happening no matter the weather. If it rained, well, so be it! The event was rain or shine, so the people partied even when the heavens opened up and the storm came! This certainly didn’t hinder people from enjoying the festival.

Come Rain Or Shine

Come Rain Or Shine

Dreamer

While you wait in line, why not take your friend’s car for a nap? To us, it sounds like a wonderful idea! For those who did not come in tents, this was the next best thing, even though we have to admit it couldn’t have been very comfortable!

Dreamer

Dreamer

Stay Flexible!

During the 1960s, and especially among the Woodstock attendees, yoga was a big hit. Those who knew certain poses also held makeshift yoga seminars right in the middle of the event. You can be sure that many people have taken the time there to learn a little bit about yoga!

Stay Flexible

Stay Flexible

Welcome To The Club

Woodstock is best known for the friendliness and peaceful atmosphere of the people who have come here. They got together at an important time in U.S. history and became one. Can you believe that not one fight took place during the event’s duration? Terrific!

Welcome To The Club

Welcome To The Club

Janis Joplin Of Course

Janis Joplin was a talented lady for sure. She was one of the headliners at Woodstock! She played until Saturday at 2 AM, the crowd’s hearts and souls all the time in the palm of her hand. Since going solo, this has been her biggest show.

Janis Joplin Of Course

Janis Joplin Of Course

I’m in the Band

While there was an admission fee to enter, the organizers soon gave up when the masses and masses of people kept coming. The happy individuals flooded the campgrounds, and the organizers knew that there was no point in limiting the number of attendees.

Im In The Band

I’m In The Band

Writing the Next Big Hit

Tim Hardin performed on Day 3 at Woodstock, though his performance is seldom talked about. He is a lesser-known folk artist who had only one big hit with “If I Were a Carpenter” under his belt. Lucky for him, the fans loved it just as much as they did on the radio!

Writing The Next Big Hit

Writing The Next Big Hit

My Bubbles

Max Yasgur, the farmer who owned the land on which Woodstock took place, was moved by the festival to tears. “If we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future.” he was famously quoted as saying. This man saved Woodstock by allowing it to exist in the first place!

My Bubbles

My Bubbles

Helping One Another

The ‘flower child’ movement was primarily opposed to Vietnam’s war. To demonstrate solidarity and peace, many people came to Woodstock to oppose the terrible events. During the festival, people here help each other to do henna tattoos, a popular body art.

Helping One Another

Helping One Another

Extra Extra Read All About It

As there was no Internet back then, people received their news mostly through newspapers and magazines. While at the festival, they wanted to keep up with the news, which was how they did it! We are lucky to have the technology we have right now!

Extra Extra Read All About It.jpg

Extra Extra Read All About It

Fashionista

Styles always come back, as you can see. During the ’60s, the same can be said about style. On the streets today, the outfits and hairstyles this couple is sporting could definitely be seen. Their clothes truly originated from a different era. Would you be rocking the same outfit as them?

Fashionista

Fashionista

Goth before Goth

During Woodstock, try and find somebody dressed in all black. It’s rather hard! Since this woman did the impossible and did what no other participant did, this picture is truly remarkable. You bet she stood out from the rest of the audience!

Goth before Goth

Goth before Goth

Melanie Sings ‘Candles in the Rain’

Usually professionally known as Melanie or as Melanie Safka, she is an American singer-songwriter. Melanie Schekeryk is performing “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” in this photo, and it was quite a hit! Can you believe that she continues to perform today and has been since 1967? This singer is unstoppable!

Melanie Sings Candles In The Rain

Melanie Sings Candles In The Rain

Fortune Teller

During Woodstock, fortune-tellers were apparently a big deal. We’re not sure we’d get advice from a hippie wearing a trippy dress like that, but then again, it’s Woodstock. Everybody is free to do anything they want. If they want to get a fortune teller’s advice, then why not?

Fortune Teller

Fortune Teller

Fresh From the Farm

We’re not sure who brought the cow, where it came from, or why it was milked, but there’s one thing we do know with certainty. Everything is going when it comes to Woodstock, so this picture shouldn’t be too hard to believe! However, the question remains, why would you bring a cow to Woodstock?

Fresh From The Farm

Fresh From The Farm

Fuller House

We know it’s hard to picture 400,000 people (the number of people who attended Woodstock), so try to think of it like this. Some math whiz discovered that you would end up with a fabric of 10 million yards if you line up blue jeans equal to the number of participants!

Fuller House

Fuller House

Jimi Hendrix Sings

In Woodstock, over 30 iconic artists performed, but no one was as impressive as the one and only Jimi Hendrix. He fully embraced his ability to please everybody in the crowd, the power of the moment, and the power of the 60s, of course. Being one of the most influential guitarists of all time, Jimi Hendrix is surely one of the most anticipated Woodstock performers.

Jimi Hendrix Sings

Jimi Hendrix Sings

2017 or 1969?

Wow, isn’t this couple too cool? We could easily see them in 2019 at a festival such as Coachella. Her Bohemian-style dress will never go out of style with her jean-cut shorts. Oh, and how could we forget her bleached beach waves and his fabulous afro!

2017 Or 1969

2017 Or 1969?

Rain Dance Man

The audience came together and performed a rain dance to halt the rain when the rain began to pour down. Obviously, they were not as successful as they kept coming, but it’s the thought that counts! But this did not allow them, as we have previously mentioned, not to enjoy the event.

Rain Dance Man

Rain Dance Man

Twist and Shout

It always helped a friend dry his clothes, although the rain dance did not work! An old trick was the only way to make things really nice and dry… Just twist and yell! Oh, and we’re not talking about this coveted dance move.

Twist And Shout

Twist And Shout

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