×

Woodstock 1969 Photos

Written by Lyra Radford

Woodstock, the iconic festival that rocked New York, took place the weekend of August 15-18, 1969. Unsurprisingly, it remains the most famous music festival in rock 'n' roll history. It was marketed as "three days of peace and music" from 32 of the most influential artists in American music. It was the embodiment of the free spirit of the 1960s.  It was the largest festival in music history and a cultural landmark for an entire generation. Despite the absurd amount of people that descended on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm, it was still a very peaceful event. That’s not to say it was all peace, love, and rock and roll.

Portrait of American musician Jerry Garcia (1942 - 1995) of the Grateful Dead backstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, August 16, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Check out Jerry Garcia just leaning over a dolly labeled "for rent" while backstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair on August 16, 1969.  The music icon is best known for his work as the lead guitarist and as a vocalist with the band the Grateful Dead, which came to prominence during the counterculture era in the 1960s. 

The Grateful Dead Garcia toured almost constantly from the time of their formation in 1965 until Garcia's death in 1995. There were periodically some breaks of course, due to health issues and such but for the most part, they just kept on trucking. During their three-decade span, the Grateful Dead played 2,314 shows

Janis Joplin singing on stage during her performance at Woodstock, 1969

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here's a great shot of Janis Joplin singing on stage during her performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. One of the major concerning social issues at the time of Woodstock were regarding human sexuality and women's rights. 

This was a time when women were screaming for equality and Janis Joplin stepped on the scene and became the biggest female rock star of the era. She was this powerful voice breaking new ground for women in the rock music industry. She was the embodiment of a wild child, leaving the confining community she grew up in to do things her way.  

Just a girl and her monkey at Woodstock, Circa 1969. 

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

Here we have a photo of an unidentified girl lounging in the crowd and smiling sweetly with her pet monkey who seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself at the Woodstock Music Festival, back in August of 1969. Billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music", Woodstock is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation. It was one of the biggest rock festivals of all time, a cultural touchstone of the 60's...  and this fuzzy little guy got to be there for it! 

Hippie couple posed together arm-in-arm with others around them, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Whether it be through experimentation with psychoactive drugs, meditation, or yoga, the hippie movement embraced the concept of reaching alternatives states. Many key social movements were born or significantly advanced within the counterculture of the 1960s and as the era unfolded, so did the new subcultures reflecting the times. This dynamic new way of life celebrated experimentation and demonstrated modern incarnations of Bohemianism. ANd poof, just like that the hippies came into being. 

Psylvia, dressed in pink and dancing in the crowd, during the Woodstock Music & Art Festival. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Here's a famous shot from Woodstock, Psylvia, dressed in a pink Indian shirt dancing in the midst of the crowd, during the music and art festival. A look of pure glee on her face as she sways from side to side. This photo really captures the whole mood of the event and the 60s.  It was taken by Bill Eppridge and was featured in LIFE and was then made available as posters. 

An intensely focused Grace Slick on stage at Woodstock, August 1969

(Photo by Baron Wolman/Getty Images)

Here is singer Grace Slick on stage at Woodstock performing with her band Jefferson Airplane in August of 1969. Grace Barnett Slick contributed greatly to the burgeoning psychedelic music scene in the mid–1960s. 

Slick is best known for her vocals on iconic songs, including "Somebody to Love", "White Rabbit", "We Built This City" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now".

She made rock and roll history during her four-decade music career by contributing to groups such as the Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, as well as her sporadic solo career. 

August of 1969, crowds of people sat on top of cars & busses during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The members of the Woodstock generation were all defined either by the Vietnam War itself or the anti-war movement. They were a generation surrounded by both government propaganda and anti-war rhetoric. It was more than enough to make one's head spin (it's no wonder they'd rather be stoned and chill out to music). Most of the music tapped into the resulting frustration. It expressed disgust for war, the government, and society’s frauds. There was a sense of weariness, yet a strong refusal to conform still remained. It was a generation pointing accusingly at complacent older generations, they refused to support the prejudices of the past and their war of the present.

Musician Jimi Hendrix on stage at Woodstock with his band, 'Gypsy Sun, And Rainbows'. Bethel, New York, August 18, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here we have rock legend Jimi Hendrix, who closed the festival with his famous performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and made music history. At this particular moment, he was playing with his new band, Gypsy Sun And Rainbows, onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, August 18, 1969. A rock critic later described this moment in the New York Post, as 'the single greatest moment of the Sixties'.

From Woodstock to the White House, 1969 was a busy year for singer Grace Slick 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here we have Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick smoking marijuana at Woodstock. The notorious pot-smoking, wine-drinking, anti-establishment singer went to Finch College with Tricia Nixon, former President Richard Nixon's daughter. So Slick ended up on the guest list for an alumnae tea party held at the White House in 1969!

She planned to spike President Richard Nixon's tea with 600 micrograms of LSD but the plan was thwarted after she was recognized by White House security personnel. As it would turn out, she only received the invitation because it was addressed to "Grace Wing" (her maiden name).

Aerial view of the stage and crowd gathered at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Check out this aerial view taken from a helicopter of the stage and the five hundred thousand strong crowd that was gathered around it at Woodstock. It's pretty impressive when an event gets upgraded to 'city status' based purely on its size! The hippies really did have their Utopia. The sprawling farm they quickly overtook, became the third largest city in New York State– only for the duration of the event that is. 

Roger Daltrey of The Who performs at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here's a photo of Roger Daltrey of The Who performing at Woodstock. It's hard to believe such a massive and influential band ever made a mere $6,250 at such a legendary event. Daltrey and The Who came to prominence in the mid-1960s, and in 1973 he launched a solo career while still a member of the Who. 

Daltrey received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the UK Music Hall of Fame. The Who have sold over 100 million records worldwide and are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century.

A long-haired man strums his guitar peacefully at Woodstock

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Although by all accounts the festival was remarkably peaceful especially given the number of people and the unconventional conditions involved, there were two recorded fatalities. Neither of which, was due to intentional violence.  One death was believed to be an accidental heroin overdose. The other, far more gruesome accidental death, occurred when a tractor ran over a concert attendee who had been sleeping in a nearby hayfield. 

There also were two births recorded at the event! Bet that blew the minds of reincarnation fans at Woodstock! One birth happened in a car caught in traffic and another began at the event but ended in the hospital after the mother was airlifted by helicopter.

Low-angle portrait of musician Joan Baez at Woodstock, August 16, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Contemporary folk singer, songwriter, musician, and activist Joan Chandos Baez has performed publicly for over 59 years, releasing over 30 albums. Her way of life has always displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights and the environment. Her music often includes songs of protest or social justice, making her ideal for an event like Woodstock. Baez took the stage at Woodstock in 1969 and lulled attendees with a set of 14 songs. She was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. 

Neil Young plays with Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

The folk-rock supergroup initially made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash became known as CSN for Crosby, Stills, Nash. Then later it was CSNY when singer-songwriter Neil Young came aboard. Between their music and their political activism, they left a lasting influence on both music and culture in the United States. Crosby, Stills & Nash were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their work together and for their work with their respective groups. The same goes for Neil Young, who was inducted both as a solo artist and as a member of Buffalo Springfield.

Robin Hallock in all her beads during the Woodstock Music & Art Festival. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

In a tent dress and piled on bead necklaces, frosted lipstick, copious eyeliner, and what she called "three days of mascara," is Blue (now 55) and whose real name is Robin S. Hallock. She was featured in a 1969 Life magazine article and said, "Woodstock was beautiful, pure, sacred and natural." Now, she added: "I picture limousines on one side and us old hippies on the other. It doesn't sound like much fun."

Carlos Satana and his band rock the stage of Woodstock back in August of 1969. 

(Photo by Baron Wolman/Getty Images)

Here is Mexican-American musician Carlos Satana and his band performing at Woodstock. Believe it or not, Santana was only paid $750 for this gig. While the Latin rock group formed in 1966, it wasn’t until this performance in 1969 at Woodstock that they first came to public attention with their performance of "Soul Sacrifice". It was this exposure that really helped propel their first album into a hit. In the following two years they released Abraxas and Santana III and have since grown into a massive success. It all started right here.

Helicopters bringing in supplies to Woodstock Music Festival, Bethel, New York State, August 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

As epic as it was, Woodstock was also a disaster in so many ways. Not only did the U.S. Army airlift food into the anti-war/anti-establishment vibing festival, they also brought in medical teams and performers who couldn’t get past the traffic. The hippy filled crowds were told: “They are with us man, they are not against us. Forty-five doctors or more are here without pay because they dig what this is into.”

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of the Who performing live at the 1969 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Who formed in 1964 and consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. Since their formation, they've gone on to become considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide. Not only are they noted for their impeccable studio works, they also hold quite the reputation for their live shows.

Blonde-haired woman dancing carefree to music from Free Stage, August 1969. 

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

 Woodstock came to represent the entire 1960s protest movement, as it took place at a time where the freedoms of women and blacks were something that needed and was just really beginning to be fought for. The protest against the war in Vietnam, civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights; the festival came to represent more than just music, it suddenly stood for the 1960s as a whole, or what the decade was striving for. 

Cellist August Burns, rocking sunglasses and a polka dot shirt, 1969

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Cellist August Burns, wearing sunglasses and a polka dot shirt, plays onstage with the rock group Sweetwater, at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair.

Sweetwater was the act scheduled to open the Woodstock Festival in 1969; however, they were thrown off course a bit after being stopped by the police on their way to the festival.  

The original members of the band were Nancy "Nansi" Nevins (lead vocals/guitar), August Burns (cello), Albert Moore (flute/backing vocals), Alan Malarowitz (drums), Elpidio Cobian (conga drums), Alex Del Zoppo (keyboards) and Fred Herrera (bass). While the band's large size was unusual, especially for the time, they were able to create a more distinctive sound than most.

Stephen Stills of the group Crosby, Stills, & Nash, August 17, 1969. 

(Photo by Fotos International/Getty Images)

Here's American musician Stephen Stills of the group Crosby, Stills, & Nash performs on stage at the Woodstock. He's also known for his work with Buffalo Springfield, which is where he began his professional music career. Stills composed one of their few hits "For What It's Worth," which ended up becoming one of the most recognizable songs of the 1960s. Other notable songs Stills contributed were "Sit Down, I Think I Love You”, "Bluebird" and "Rock & Roll Woman". 

An unidentified man, strutting his stuff in a flowered kaftan at Woodstock, 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Check out this groovy unidentified, mustachioed young man. Barefoot and looking a bit confuses, he is strutting his stuff in a flowered kaftan. He is carrying what appears to be three packs of cigarettes as he just strides through the grass at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York. That weekend August 15 - 17 (and part of the 18th), was quite the blur of free love, drugs, and a whole lot of Paisley prints! 

Larry Taylor, bass player from the band Canned Heat, August 16, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Pictured here is bass guitarist Samuel Lawrence "Larry" Taylor (born June 26, 1942), who is best known for his work as a member of Canned Heat, which he joined in 1967. Prior to that, he had been a session bassist for The Monkees and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Taylor played with Canned Heat until 1970 and appeared with them at various festivals including the Monterey International Pop Festival and as you can see here, Woodstock 


Paraphernalia stand in the woods during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

It only makes sense that Woodstock, a festival full of those preaching anti-establishment and anti-authority rhetoric, was an unpoliced event. This meant people were free to drop acid, snort coke, and smoke as much weed as they wanted. It was all out in the open and some people even set up little “smoke tents” and advertised they had drugs. Here is a paraphernalia stand that was set up in the woods featuring pillows, posters, & incense during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair.

"Band-aid" Sally Mann at Woodstock Music Festival. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Pictured here is Sally Mann at Woodstock Music Festival. Many have been quick to simply call her a “groupie” but she considered herself one of the “other girls”. She wasn't star struck or desperate. She was best friends with Grace Slick, and eventually became the wife of Spencer Dryden of Jefferson Airplane. As Baron Wolman once wrote "Sally certainly didn’t behave like a groupie, she was reserved and confident and quiet.”

Closeup of Jimi Hendrix performing at the Woodstock Festival, 1969

(Photo by LGI Stock/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Here is a close up of Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, tragically, he would die not long after this event. I was September 18, 1970, when Hendrix swallowed a handful of sleeping pills and never woke up. 

The overdose was accidental, Jimi had been drinking and didn’t realize half a Vesparax was enough to get eight hours sleep... he took about 18 times the recommended dosage. He then choked to death on his own vomit. It was a reckless mistake that killed him at 27 years old.

Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane on stage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, August 17, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here we have a great shot of American musician Jack Casady of the band Jefferson Airplane, rocking out on stage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, on August 17, 1969. The band was originally scheduled to take the stage on the 16th, but they didn't end up performing until dawn the next day. So many iconic bands played (and were asked to play) this historical event. Led Zeppelin, Chicago, and The Doors were all asked to play but couldn't make it. 

Volunteers making food to feed attendees at Woodstock, August 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

In addition to forming a “Please Force”as a sort of "polite police," the volunteers from the Hog Farm commune convinced promoters to also let them set up a free kitchen. So the hippie commune probably wasn’t expecting such a large turnout and they ran out of all that free food they were handing out pretty fast. Good thing they had US Army helicopters to fly in supplies... 

An unidentified woman (possible a festival staffer, due to her ID badge), picks her way barefoot through mud and sleeping bags 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Nearly half a million people descended on Woodstock, New York to be a part of the famous music festival. The Hippies pictured here were right at home in the field where music history was made. The event was scheduled to run three days but ended up lasting four because the hippies simply weren’t finished yet. The festival became a landmark in rock in roll history and it ended up defining an entire generation.

Here's a wide-angle shot of the massive crowd facing the distant stage, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The Woodstock organizers pulled a bit of a fast one when they lied to authorities about how many people were showing up to their festival. They claimed they were expecting only 50,000 people to show up — even though they knew they’d already sold 186,000 tickets and had no intentions of turning more people away. However, it wasn’t just the authorities who got the shock of their lives when they saw the real turn out, so did the organizers! Nearly 500,000 people ended up showing up. There was also another estimated million who tried to attend but couldn’t get past the traffic!

Conga drummer Elpidio Cobian, of the group Sweetwater, plays tambourines 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Conga drummer Elpidio Cobian, of the group Sweetwater, plays the tambourines while performing onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. 

In 1994, Sweetwater conducted a reunion to commemorate Woodstock’s 25th anniversary. According to SweetWaterBand.com, "Attempts were made, but no one was able to find out what had happened to Elpidio, our former conga player."

 A few years later, they found out he moved on to a really successful career working for the film studios on their set crews. He worked on underwater sets, principally as a welder, for such hit movies as “Jaws” and “The Abyss”, among others.

People on the side of the road while attempting to attend Woodstock in Bethel, New York, Circa 1969.

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

Pictured here are several parked cars on the side of the road, with people who were on their way to attend the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, in Bethel, New York. Because of the hoards of people with the same idea, traffic was gridlocked.  The overflow of would-be concertgoers began to overwhelm the surrounding towns. These were small rural communities, they weren’t prepared to accommodate so many people. It got so bad Sullivan County actually declared it a state of emergency.

Percussionist Jerry Velez, a member of Jimi Hendrix's band, Gypsy Sun And Rainbows, August 18, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here's a shot of percussionist Jerry Velez, a member of Jimi Hendrix's band, Gypsy Sun And Rainbows. Here he is onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, back on August 18th, 1969. 

Gerardo "Jerry" Velez may be best known for his work with the psychedelic rock musician, he has performed with many artists over a wide array of different genres of music. He is also a common member of jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra.

Singer Sylvester 'Sly' Stone plays the keyboards 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Check out singer Sylvester 'Sly' Stone as he plays the keyboards in front of the massive Woodstock crowd. He and his band 'Sly and the Family Stone' gave a perfect performance on August 16, 1969. 

Canned Heat guitarist Harvey Mandel playing onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here we have a still from Filmmaker Mike Wadleigh's footage. As you can see, he moved in for a close-up view of Canned Heat guitarist Harvey Mandel. He scored this great shot of the guitarist working his magic while playing onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, in August of 1969. 

A young hippie wearing patriotic trousers at Woodstock, August 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Tickets pre-sold for $6.00 per day of the festival and were meant to sell for $24.00 at the ‘gate’ but there was no gate. There were far too many people, the fencing and ticket booths were never installed due to lack of funding, and they had no way to keep people out anyway. Eventually, all attempts to charge entry fees was abandoned. It became a free for all. 

Indian musician Ravi Shankar performing with fellow musicians Alla Rakha and Maya Kulkarni. 

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

Here we have a photo of Indian musician Ravi Shankar (center) performing on stage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, on  August 15, 1969. With him are fellow musicians Alla Rakha and Maya Kulkarni. As it would turn out, Ravi Shankar decidedly found the event to be a 'terrifying experience.' He later went on to say the mud covered crowd writhing before the stage reminded him of the water buffaloes back home in India.

A couple twisting a blanket between them, trying to squeeze out the rainwater

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The weekend wasn't full of sunshine days... as the storm clouds approached the wide-spanning outdoor event, the crowd attempted to tap into the powers of their collective unconscious by chanting their desire for clear skies (literally). The crowd was urged from the stage, “Let's think hard to get rid of the rain.” A chant rang out: “No rain, no rain, no rain.”

And chant they did... to whatever deity they thought was listening.

It didn’t work, in fact, they may have made it worse. Joan Baez sang “We shall overcome” during a relentless thunderstorm and three hours and five inches of rain later, they had a mud-fest. The weather remained bad all weekend.

Young people camping out w. tents on a grassy hillside, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Now, an interesting side note, Woodstock, as in the music festival, didn’t take place in Woodstock, New York, the place as most people thought. The event was really held in the Town of Bethel, which is nearby. Sullivan County dairy farmer Max Yasgur had agreed to host the festival on his property after original permits were revoked just one month before the festival date. Here you can see people just lounging around their respective camping spots on the farm for the weekend.

Woodstock organizer Michael Lang in Bethel, New York State, August 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The Woodstock Music Festival was the brainchild of band manager Michael Lang (pictured here) and songwriter Artie Kornfeld. Their initial goal was to hold an art and music festival over the course of three days, to raise enough money to build a recording studio in Woodstock. Instead, what they created ended up becoming the most famous music festival in rock history. 

John Sebastian, formerly of The Lovin' Spoonful, performs at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

John Sebastian, formerly of The Lovin' Spoonful, performs for the masses at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The festival took place on Max Yasgur's dairy farm, which he rented to event organizers for $75,000. About 450,000 people attended the three-day concert, which turned into chaos due to the crowds, heavy rains, and traffic jams. It is nonetheless romantically remembered as a symbol of the liberal spirit of the hippie generation.

Woodstock, in August 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The anti-war movement began to disintegrate after Woodstock, that’s not to say protests stopped and that the ‘free love’ ideology died because it didn’t. Some were inspired to protest because of the festival. It just all began to lose its sense of urgency. It was as if Woodstock was what they’d been fighting for. They’d accomplished a harmonious coexistence in a drug-induced haze. It all came to a head and could now be encapsulated in this singular event. 

Profile of American musician: David Crosby onstage at Woodstock, 1969 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist David Van Cortlandt Crosby was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash. He also had a solo career.

It was 1964 when Crosby joined The Byrds, he ultimately appeared on their first five albums and produced the original lineup's 1973 reunion album. In 1967 he joined creative forces with Stephen Stills and then the duo began to form Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1968 with the addition of Graham Nash. Neil Young joined the group for live appearances, their second concert being Woodstock.

Faces in crowd during rainy spell at Woodstock Music & Art Festival. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Woodstock was jam packed with free-loving folk who just wanted to party for days on end rain or shone! It's crazy to think that it would have been even bigger than it was, if not for traffic backing up so badly that no one could get through! An estimated one million people went home and still, the grounds and the surrounding roads were so packed medical responders couldn't even get through! 

Hippie couple standing barefoot on the wet road holding a bundle & wine bottle

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The Woodstock generation got their wish, even if only for a duration of four days. They got to live amongst like minds, share food and drugs and rock out to music in their own Utopian society. All they’d been protesting for came to life on that farm for those summer days in 1969.

View from the back of the stage while Jimi Hendrix performs with Gypsy Sun And Rainbows

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here is an interesting view from the back of the stage while Jimi Hendrix (center, with a red headband) performs with his band, Gypsy Sun And Rainbows on August 18, 1969. His performance was legendary, it instantly made rock n' roll history and worth every penny he was paid. Just how much did he make? Jimi Hendrix was paid $30,000 for two sets plus an extra $2,000 for expenses.

A look at clouds from both sides now, Woodstock, August 1969. 

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels, the dizzy dancing way you feel, as every fairy tale comes real... Here's a cool fish-eye view looking up several smiling festival goers and at the clouds painted on a tipi overhead during the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair.  This little photographic slice of a hippie utopia captures the esscence of the event and its attendees. 

Halsey Clifton (R), standing on the sound-mixing table in the rain 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Here we have Halsey Clifton (R), standing on the sound-mixing table in the rain with a huge crowd around, during the Woodstock Music & Art Festival. Location: Bethel, NY, US. This photo was taken in August of 1969, by photographer Bill Eppridge.

A band plays on stage at the Woodstock Music Festival, Bethel, NY, August 15, 1969. 

(Photo by Baron Wolman/Getty Images)

Look at that crowd, it's so massive! This very site the festival was held, was just listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.  As Joni Mitchell once said, “Woodstock was a spark of beauty” where half-a-million kids “saw that they were part of a greater organism.”  It was the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation and Rolling Stone listed it as one of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.

The music group Sha Na Na performing onstage at Woodstock, August 18, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

All decked out in gold-painted leather jackets and pants at Woodstock, is the music group Sha Na Na. The American rock and roll group took their name from the syllables in the doo-wop hit song "Get a Job", originally recorded in 1957 by the Silhouettes.

Billing themselves as "from the streets of New York" and sporting pompadour and ducktail hairdos! Their whole look and demeanor are modeled after 50's rock and roll and New York street culture. 

Music fans sit on the hoods of cars on the crowded roads near the Woodstock Festival, Bethel, New York, between August 15-17, 1969. 

(Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

Here we have some music fans just sitting on the hoods of their cars on the crowded roads near the Woodstock Festival (or Woodstock Music and Art Fair, as the poster reads), Bethel, New York, between August 15-17, 1969. 

What a lot of people don’t realize, is there were also children at Woodstock! Hippy parents didn’t see anything wrong with dragging their kids to a weekend long, drug-fueled rock concert. There was probably plenty of children conceived at Woodstock as well.

Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane on a 'monkey bike', August 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Yes, that is guitarist Jorma Kaukonen of the rock band Jefferson Airplane riding a 'monkey bike' at Woodstock Music Festival. Good times! 

While the blues, folk, and rock guitarist has always been best known for his work with Jefferson Airplane, he also worked with the band Hot Tuna and even embarked on a solo career. He’s been ranked #54 on Rolling Stones list of 100 Greatest Guitarists.

View of a group of people as they step over a torn-down fence in order to enter the grounds of the \Woodstock Music & Art Festival, Bethel, New York, August 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Off-duty police officers were not allowed to provide security for Woodstock, that was a deal breaker. So, members of the Hog Farm commune were hired on as Woodstock’s 'Please Force.' The name was in reference their polite and non-intrusive tactics with which they handeld thigns. These "tactics" involved using phrases like, "please don't do that, please do this instead". It worked, for such a massive event it’s amazing how peaceful it was. 

Here, two unidentified women give medical care to unidentified men, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Traffic was so bad medics couldn't get into the festival site. They eventually had to be flown in. What they had once they got in, was an abundance of bad trips and overdoses to deal with for the duration. The bulk of the non-drug related first aid treatment was for cur feet. An absurd amount of people were roaming around barefoot and cut their feet up considerably.

Here are several young people dishing out food at Woodstock (while they still had it)

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

It wasn't long before the limited supplies were completely consumed by event attendees. The local Jewish Community Center heard about the shortage of food and resources at Woodstock and were kind enough to put together some care packages for festival-goers. They prepared and had nuns deliver sandwiches from around 200 loaves of bread, a solid 40 pounds of meat, topped with two gallons of pickles. 

A clown-like Paul Foster walking around the site of Woodstock, circa 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Here's Paul Foster in an interesting number: a multi-colored outfit with a top hat, and a red & white striped jacket, as he strolls through the Woodstock Music & Art Festival.  The author, illustrator,  and member of author Ken Kesey's psychedelic troupe was quite the vision at this event. He was also one of the founding members of the Hog Farm Commune that was brought on to help out with Woodstock.

An audience of hippies at the Woodstock Music Festival. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Between the boldly price-gouging vendor who had their stand burned down and the loss of ticket money when the hippies decided to just walk in, there was certainly no shortage of lessons to be learned at Woodstock.

 The festival's organizers, who’d only launched Woodstock to make a quick buck off the hippies, ended up in debt afterward! They were at least $1.3m in the hole debt and it took over a decade for the backers to recoup the loss!

Keeping peace alive on the side of the road at Woodstock, circa 1969 

(Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images)

Taken in August of 1969, this group of friends sitting by their car at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, are keeping the smiles on their faces and the peace and love vibe going...even though traffic is gridlocked and everyone is stuck for the weekend. Despite the ridiculously large number of people (on drugs) and the serious lack of supplies on that farm that weekend, it's shocking to find there were no serious acts of violence committed amongst the festival goers. 

Overall of the huge crowd, looking towards the large yellow tents, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

On the first day of Woodstock, news broke that psychedelic rock band Sweetwater was stuck in traffic (they were stopped by the police) and wouldn’t be able to open the show as planned, new arrangements were made. While everyone was certainly disappointed by the slight scheduling change, the crowd was more than entertained with the massive group Yoga session that was led by one of the Hog Farmers as a result. 

A man cooking a hot dog at Woodstock Music Festival, Bethel, New York State, August 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

 During the first few days of Woodstock, as could be expected, national media coverage only emphasized the problems. 

Front-page headlines read "Traffic Uptight at Hippiefest" and "Hippies Mired in a Sea of Mud". 

The New York Times ran an editorial titled "Nightmare in the Catskills." 

Here's a small excerpt from it: "The dreams of marijuana and rock music that drew 300,000 fans and hippies to the Catskills had little more sanity than the impulses that drive the lemmings to march to their deaths in the sea. They ended in a nightmare of mud and stagnation... What kind of culture is it that can produce so colossal a mess?"

Portrait of American farmer: Max Yasgur stands on the stage during the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Here we have a photo of American farmer Max Yasgur (1919 - 1973), hanging out onstage at Woodstock. This is the man who saved the entire Arts and music fair after they lost the permits for their original location last minute. Yasgur provided the land, part of his farm, upon which the festival was held after several other possible locations had fallen through. The deal with Max Yasgur was struck for $75,000.

Even stoned hippies can get a little rowdy. Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 1969. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Like all the concession stands, “Food For Love” was rapidly running out of resources. They decided to raise their prices from just .25 cents per burger to $1.00. Clearly, they forgot where they were and had a rebellion on their hands. Festival-goers called them out for their capitalist exploitation, told them they were contradicting the spirit of the festival, and then burnt their stand to the ground. 

Hand-painted signs to direct foot traffic at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, 1969 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

This photo by Bill Eppridge gives the view of hand-painted signs that were used to direct foot traffic at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. The signs point to 'Gentle Path,' Groovy Way,' and 'High Way.' 

Several youths washing their feet at a water pump. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

As you can see here, some hippies did wash their feet!  By the third day of the festival (after all the rain), almost everything and everyone was covered in mud. The Health Department was also pretty ticked off at festival organizers because there wasn't an appropriate number of portable toilets made available to the public and they were rather disgusting. They filled up fast and were not being properly disposed of.

Festival attendees at Woodstock Music Festival, Bethel, New York State, August 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

It was because of the last minute change in venue that threw off the festival organizers. They didn't have enough time to prepare and had to choose between finishing the fence and ticket booth are, or the stage. The stage ended up breaking anyway, it wasn't rotating as it should and lost a wheel. Then people began arriving by the tens of thousands the Wednesday before the weekend, the decision was made for them! People just walked right it. 

Looking a little dazed and confused at Woodstock, 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Here we have a bedraggled young woman standing in the mud, a sleeping bag and backpack at her feet, on the grounds of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, August 1969. 

Marijuana smokers were estimated to be the majority of the audience at Woodstock, but they were not arrested at the event. That's not to say there weren't any around the grounds, there were 80 arrests that weekend. Most were made on drug charges involving LSD, amphetamines, and heroin.

Sleeping under an umbrella at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, 1969. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Here's a look at an unidentified young man sleeping on the ground under an umbrella at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, August, 1969. After supplies ran out, some people snuck out during the night, when everyone was sleeping to go home and retrieve some cooking supplies. One kind woman, actually stayed up all night making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to hand out to people the following day. 

Several young people holding plastic containers attempt to get water, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

There were around 7 or 8 wells dug into the ground to be used to store drinking water and 4 containers that held nearly 10,000 gallons of water were strategically placed around the vicinity. But by the end of the second day these 4 massive tanks became low, but they never actually became empty because people kept replenishing them with water from the nearby lake.... The same lake people were bathing in.

Cynthia Roberts siting on the ground & blowing bubbles, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Here's a peaceful sight, Cynthia Roberts sitting on the ground and blowing bubbles, while listening to rock and roll at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair.

Night overview of the stage all lit up during a performance at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

The anti-war movement began to disintegrate after Woodstock, that’s not to say protests stopped and that the ‘free love’ ideology died, because it didn’t. Some were inspired to protest because of the festival. It just all began to lose its sense of urgency. It was as if Woodstock was what they’d been fighting for. They’d accomplished a harmonious coexistence in a drug-induced haze. It all came to a head and could now be encapsulated in this singular event. 

Make love not war, at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

here's a shot of a young couple, seen from the back, kissing at night, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. It is no secret that a big part of hippy culture involved naturalism. That is, natural food sources, natural hygiene products, and it also included the freedom to go ‘au natural’ whenever they please. Many naturalists took Woodstock’s “Free love” mantra as reason enough to hang out in the buff.

Ecstatic hippie bathing in a waterfall at Woodstock Music Festival. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Considering the size of the event and the fact that there were not enough bathroom facilities, food, or first-aid tents to accommodate such a huge crowd, it's no wonder why many described the atmosphere at The Woodstock Music & Art Festival as chaotic. But not this guy!

This guy is loving life in this moment! This ecstatic hippie is getting cleaned up and having a blast in a little waterfall near the dairy farm where Woodstock was held. 

Guy playing drums at Woodstock Music Festival. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

There was all kinds of music going on at Woodstock, not just on the main stage. People were jamming to their own kind of music out in the crowds and on the free stage. They got to play at the same venue as some of the best musical acts of the era! 

Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Band, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After, Joan Baez, Santana, Joe Cocker, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young... all played Woodstock. 

Overall of the hillside the day after the festival was over, showing the area strewn w. all kinds of debris, during the Woodstock Music & Art Festival. 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Woodstock was a celebration of all the positive aspects of a whole host of political and spiritual philosophies the hippies held. Of course, in addition to creating their ideal society, they also got to see where they were flawed. They couldn’t even make it four days.

Governor Nelson Rockefeller declared it a disaster area, it was like the aftermath of hurricane Katrina except these people were doing it to themselves. They needed the help of the government they were rebelling against just to have their basic needs met. 

Portrait of a smiling woman at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, 1969.

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Hre is a portrait of a smiling woman attending the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York. It was taken by Barry Z Levine in August of 1969. She looks so happy considering the conditions everyone was forced to deal with that weekend. It's amazing how many people stayed for the duration. 

What a smile--two kids in blue--torn jeans, old leather camera bag, blue midriff t-shirt, long hair, amazing smile, at the Woodstock music festival, August 1969. 

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

Can you imagine being at a three-day rock festival (that was more like joining a hippy commune), and then going into labor? There were at least two confirmed births at Woodstock.

At one point John Sebastian, lead singer with Lovin' Spoonful, announced from the stage: 'Some cat's old lady just had a baby, a kid destined to be far out!'

There were reports of a new mother being airlifted to the hospital by helicopter and another birth happened in the nine-mile traffic jam just outside the festival. 

Group of hippies at a bonfire at Woodstock Music Festival, 1969. 

(Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Here's a group of hippies standing by a bonfire at Woodstock Music Festival as the day turns to dusk. It didn't matter how tired or dirty they got, these people were not missing a moment of this historic and peaceful happening. It was the most famous of the 1960s rock festivals, arguably the most famous rock festival of all time!

Woodstock Music & Art Festival 

(Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

As strange as it sounds, by Wednesday, August 13, around 60,000 people had already arrived and set up their camps on the farm before the event. It's a good thing they did because swarms of people descended on the dairy farm and by the time Friday rolled, the roads were so clogged that performing artists and medics had to start coming in by helicopter. 

Country Joe McDonald of the music group 'Country Joe and The Fish' at Woodstock, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Country Joe McDonald graced the stage of Woodstock with an anti-war themed performance. Widespread social tensions were coming to a head. After the JFK assassination conspiracy theories ran wild. From there, rooted a deep sense of distrust for the government, unlike ever before. That distrust continued to bubble around the Nixon administration and would eventually be proven justified after the Watergate Scandal came to light. It was a tumultuous time even without all the social movements.  

Larry Graham of the band Sly and the Family Stone, August 17, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Pictured here is Larry Graham performing at Woodstock on August 17, 1969, with the band Sly and the Family Stone. The musician and record producer remains most famous for his days as frontman for Sly and the Family Stone. The band played a critical role in the development of soul, funk, rock, and psychedelia all throughout the 1960s and 1970s. As a member of the group, Sly was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1996.

Bob 'The Bear' Hite, of Canned Heat, sings onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here we have a shot of Bob 'The Bear' Hite, of Canned Heat, singing onstage at Woodstock in 1969. While the group has been noted for its interpretations of blues, both the music and attitude of Canned Heat established them as one of the popular acts of the hippie era. In addition to Woodstock, Canned Heat appeared at most major musical events at the end of the 1960s, performing blues standards and occasionally indulging in lengthy 'psychedelic' solos. 

 Several youths huddled under a green tarp, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. 

(Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

It's amazing how iconic this event ended up becoming... since pretty much everything about the festival began to go wrong almost immediately. Losing the location, not finishing the ticket booths (or the fence); the stage breaking, the opening act getting pulled over... then came the rain that turned the whole farm into a sea of mud. They ran out of food, traffic was packed, medical assistance couldn't get in... if not for all the drugs these people were on, logic would have prevailed and they all would have left and "Woodstock" as we know it would never have happened. 

View of an unidentified band as they perform on the 'Free Stage' at Woodstock

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

Here an unidentified band (or possibly random event guests jamming out with band members) on the 'Free Stage' at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, Bethel, New York, on August 15, 1969. The 'Free Stage' essentially functioned as both a place from the scheduled performers to jam and as an open mic stage for festival goers. So what you ended up listening to here was as good as anyone's guess. 

American musician Tim Hardin performs onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, August 15, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

James Timothy Hardin was a folk musician and composer who wrote the Top 40 hit "If I Were a Carpenter". It ended up being covered by, Bobby Darin, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, The Four Tops, Robert Plant, and Johnny Rivers (among others).

His song "Reason to Believe" has also been covered by many artists, most notably Rod Stewart (who had a chart hit with the song), Neil Young, and The Carpenters. 

American musician Joan Baez holds her hand up and waves a 'peace' symbol onstage at Woodstock

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here's a photo of musician Joan Baez, holding her hand up and waves a 'peace' symbol onstage at Woodstock. Joan was well known for her lifelong dedication to political and social activism. She was a champion of human rights, the civil right movement, and was very vocal about her disagreement with the Vietnam war. To reward her decades of dedicated activism, Baez was honoured with the Spirit of Americana/Free Speech award at the 2008 Americana Music Honors & Awards.

Dancers on the stage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Whatever you want to call the people who made up the generation of free love: Beatniks, hippies, flower children and rock legends of epic proportions all gathered together for Woodstock, in the little town of Bethel, rural New York State. And there they frolicked for a weekend that went down in history for both its' immensity and intensity. 

Not everyone who should have played Woodstock made it there. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Joni Mitchell ended up taking the advice of her manager and sitting the event out, a decision which she regretted. She chose to guest on the Dick Cavett Show and then watched the festival unfold on TV, with tears streaming down her face.

She wrote the festival's eponymous song, with the lyrics 'We are stardust we are golden', from what she heard of the event from then-boyfriend Graham Nash, ex-Hollies and one quarter of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Robbie Robertson of the music group 'The Band' onstage at Woodstock. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Robbie Robertson of the music group 'The Band' plays onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, August 15 - 17 (and part of the 18th), 1969. The movie they made, 'Woodstock,' was released in 1970.

Bassist Larry Taylor at the Woodstock Music Festival, Bethel, New York, 16th August 1969. 

(Photo by Tucker Ranson/Pictorial Parade/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Here is a close up of bassist Larry Taylor as he performs with American rock group Canned Heat at the Woodstock Music Festival, Bethel, New York, 16th August 1969. 

Samuel Lawrence "Larry" Taylor is best known for his work as a member of Canned Heat from 1967 but before that, he had been a session bassist for The Monkees and Jerry Lee Lewis! He's also worked with Harvey Mandel, John Mayall, and Tom Waits among others. 

Alan 'Blind Owl' Wilson performing with Canned Heat at the Woodstock Music Festival, circa 1969.

(Photo by Tucker Ranson/Pictorial Parade/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Check out singer and harmonica player Alan 'Blind Owl' Wilson performing with American rock group Canned Heat at the Woodstock Music Festival on August 16th, 1969. Alan Christie Wilson was a co-founder, leader, and primary composer for the blues band Canned Heat. In addition to singing, he played harmonica and guitar. 

Folk singer Arlo Guthrie, son of the legendary Woody Guthrie, performs at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here's folk singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie. Like his father, Woody Guthrie, he is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice. Guthrie's most famous work remains his debut piece, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree”, a satirical talking blues song that runs about 18 minutes long and has since become a Thanksgiving anthem. His song "Massachusetts" was actually named the official folk song of the state in which he has lived most of his adult life. 

Hippies sit near promoter Bill Graham at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here's a photo of a group of hippies crowded around Bill Graham at Woodstock. Graham was a legendary rock concert promoter who arranged tours for bands like Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones from the 1960s until the '90s.

Graham put on major events like "The Last Waltz," a farewell concert by the Band. He also produced the American Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium, raising more than $45 million to fight hunger in Africa.

An unidentified man films a woman as she plays tambourine, August 1969. 

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

Here's a shot of an unidentified man filming as a woman plays the tambourine. A cigarette rests between her fingers as she plays for the crowd near the 'Free Stage' at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. 

Fun at the Free Stage for this unidentified bass guitarist! August 1969.

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

Here is one of many unidentified bass guitarists photographed performing on the 'Free Stage' the weekend of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in August of 1969. The 'Free Stage" was a free for all, for the bands and concert attendees alike. 

Canadian musician Garth Hudson from rock group The Band performs onstage, August 17, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Though Bob Dylan was one of the original inspirations for the festival, and his backing group, The Band, showed up to play for the massive audience, the great Bob Dylan never made it, but sadly one of his children was hospitalized over that weekend.

Here's a shot of Canadian musician Garth Hudson of rock group The Band, performing onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, August 17, 1969. 

Folk singer Joan Baez performs at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

There have been four unsuccessful attempts to recreate the iconic Woodstock festival on different sites: first in 1979, then again in 1989, followed by an attempt in 1994, and the most disastrous of them all was the 1999 festival. The event in 1999 ended up being shut down amid riots and violence.... kind of defeating the whole point of Woodstock. Commemorative events still take place across America and Europe but nothing will ever compare to that first REAL Woodstock festival in 1969. 

Drummer Adolfo de la Parra and the rest of Canned Heat perform at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Pictured here is Mexican drummer Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra, best known as a longtime member of Canned Heat. Fito de la Parra began playing drums professionally from the age of 14-years old! He played with some of the most famous rock bands in Mexico including, Los Sinners, Los Hooligans, and he played with Javier Batiz. He also backed huge groups like The Platters, The Shirelles, and The Rivingtons, in addition to talents like Etta James and Mary Wells.

Leslie West of Mountain performs at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here is a picture of a smiling Leslie West at Woodstock. The American rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter is best known as a founding member of the hard rock band Mountain. West married his fiancée Jenni Maurer on stage after Mountain's performance at the Woodstock 40th anniversary concert in Bethel, New York (August 15, 2009). Over 15,000 people were present and the couple walked through a bridge of guitars held by Levon Helm, Larry Taylor, and Corky Laing among others.

John Sebastian, formerly of The Lovin' Spoonful, performs for the masses at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here we have John Benson Sebastian performing at Woodstock back in 1969. The American-born singer-songwriter, guitarist, harmonicist, and autoharpist, is best known as a founder of The Lovin' Spoonful, a band which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2000. He is also known for this moment, pictured here: His impromptu appearance at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

Folk singer Tim Hardin performs at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here is a close up of James Timothy Hardin, better known as Tim Hardin. The folk musician and composer wrote hits that other big names loved to cover! Sadly, his heroin addiction had completely taken control of his life by the time his last album, Nine, was released in 1973. then, on December 29, 1980, Hardin was found on the floor of his Hollywood apartment by longtime friend Ron Daniels. He died of a heroin overdose. 

Folk singer Richie Havens performs for the masses at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Pictured here is Richard Pierce "Richie" Havens as he performs for the masses at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. His music encompassed elements of folk, soul, and rhythm and blues. He is best known for his intense and rhythmic guitar style (often in open tunings), soulful covers of pop and folk songs, and of course, his opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

John Sebastian wanders around the grounds with another man at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here is a photo of John Sebastian, formerly of The Lovin' Spoonful, wandering around the grounds of Woodstock with another man.  The Lovin' Spoonful, which blended folk-rock and pop, with elements of blues, country, became part of the American response to the British Invasion, and was noted for such hits as "Do You Believe in Magic", "Summer in the City", "Daydream", "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?", "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice", "Darling Be Home Soon", "Jug Band Music", "Rain on the Roof", "Nashville Cats", and "Six O'Clock".

Canned Heat performs at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here's a shot of Canned Heat performing at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969. While the group has been noted for its interpretations of blues, both the music and attitude of Canned Heat established them as one of the popular acts of the hippie era. In addition to Woodstock, Canned Heat appeared at most major musical events at the end of the 1960s, performing blues standards along with their own material and occasionally indulging in lengthy 'psychedelic' solos. Two of their songs – "Going Up the Country" and "On the Road Again" – became international hits.

Members of The Band perform at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Canadian-American rock group formed in Toronto, Ontario back in 1968 by Rick Danko (bass guitar, vocals), Garth Hudson (keyboards, saxophone), Richard Manuel (keyboards, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals), and Levon Helm (drums, vocals). The members of The Band first came together as rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins's backing group, the Hawks, which they joined one by one between 1958 and 1963.

Folk singer Arlo Guthrie, son of the legendary Woody Guthrie, performs at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here's  folk singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie. Like his father, Woody Guthrie, he is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice. 

Guthrie's most famous work remains his debut piece, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree”, a satirical talking blues song that runs about 18 minutes long and has since become a Thanksgiving anthem. 

His song "Massachusetts" was actually named the official folk song of the state in which he has lived most of his adult life. 

Rock music legend Janis Joplin performs at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Pictured here is the blues-influenced rock singer Janis Joplin, belting it out at Woodstock. Despite having only released three albums before her untimely death, Janis Joplin is arguably one of the most prominent female rock stars of all time.

She rocked Woodstock along with icons of rock before she was found dead of a heroin overdose in bed in October of 1970. Described as having "a devastatingly original voice" and a presence that was both "overpowering and deeply vulnerable", news of her death shook the music world.

Blues singer Johnny Winter performs at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here's Johnny Winter, letting the music take him away at Woodstock.  The singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer is best known for his high-energy blues-rock albums and his legendary live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s. 

Winter is also credited with producing three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. He recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums of his own as well. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

An unidentified woman dances near the 'Free Stage' at the Woodstock, August 15, 1969. 

(Photo by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images)

Thought the hippies had their shot at seeing their ideas for how society should operate in action and on a large-scale, it was destined to fail from the start. Take the concert aspect out of things and the peace and love generation had to fail. As sad as that fact is... it simply wasn’t built on a strong enough foundation. Free love., drugs, and food all sounded good in theory but idealism and wishful thinking aren’t enough to hold the weight of the world.

Robbie Robertson and rock group The Band take on Woodstock, August 17, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

The group began performing as "The Band" in 1968 and then went on to release ten studio albums. Throughout the course of their career, they collaborated with Bob Dylan regularly, including a joint 1974 tour.

The original lineup quit touring in 1976, the ended it with an elaborate live ballroom performance that featured numerous musical celebrities. It was actually recorded for Martin Scorsese's 1978 documentary The Last Waltz. 

Richard Manuel from rock group The Band performing at Woodstock, August 17, 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here's a shot of  Richard Manuel of "The Band", he was one of the original members; providing keyboards and vocals. 

After the original line up ended their touring career in 1976, they eventually decided to resume touring in 1983 without guitarist Robertson. He'd found success with a solo career and as a music producer. 

Following a 1986 show, Manuel committed suicide. The remaining three members continued to tour and record albums.

Filmmaker Michael Wadleigh trains his camera upon the performers onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, August 15 - 17 (and part of the 18th), 1969. 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here we have filmmaker Michael Wadleigh setting up his shot. He trains his camera upon the performers onstage at Woodstock gathering footage which would later become an Academy Award-winning documentary movie. Woodstock 197, was directed by Michael Wadleigh and edited by Thelma Schoonmaker and Martin Scorsese.

Woodstock actually helped save Warner Bros at a time when they were on the verge of going out of business believe it or not!

 Jefferson Airplane performs on stage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair 

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here is another still of Grace Slick of the band Jefferson Airplane, performing on stage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York, August 17, 1969. Though they were scheduled to take the stage on the 16th, the band didn't end up performing until dawn the next day.

Felix Pappalardi bass guitarist for the music group 'Mountain'

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here's bass guitarist Felix Pappalardi (1939 - 1983), jamming away at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, New York. The American music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bassist is best known to the public as the bassist and vocalist of the band Mountain, whose song "Mississippi Queen" peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has gone on to become a classic rock radio staple.

Close-up portrait of singer/guitarist Rick Danko, Woodstock circa 1969

(Photo by Barry Z Levine/Getty Images)

Here's an extremely blue close-up portrait of singer/guitarist Rick Danko (1942 - 1999) while performing onstage at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. The Canadian musician, bassist, singer, and songwriter, is best known as a member of "The Band".

After "The Band" performed its farewell concert (the Last Waltz) in 1976, Danko was offered a contract with Arista Records, (which he accepted) making him the first Band member to record a solo album. His self-titled début was issued in 1977 and featured each of his former bandmates in addition to his brother Terry, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton, Doug Sahm, and Blondie Chaplin.

Here's Mike Heron of The Incredible String Band performs at Woodstock

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

A member of the Scottish folk quartet “The Incredible String Band” described their experience on the Woodstock stage to writer Mark Ellen: “It was incredibly high and three out of the four of us had vertigo. Little flimsy dresses on the girls, acoustic guitars out of tune, the drums damp from the tent, it was like playing off the Forth Bridge to this sea of people cooking beans in the mud.' 

Leslie West of Mountain performs 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here's rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter Leslie West (born Leslie Weinstein; October 22, 1945), performing at Woodstock with the hard rock band he's best known for Mountain. Aside from his work with Mountain, he's recorded with The Who, Bo Diddley, and Ian Gillan of Deep Purple to co-write and play guitar for "Hang Me Out To Dry". He played also played guitar on Ozzy Osbourne's Under Cover album for a remake of "Mississippi Queen".

Rick Danko performs with the rest of The Band at the free Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

(Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

It was Danko who found the pink house on Parnassus Lane in Saugerties, New York, which became known as Big Pink. 

Danko moved into it, along with bandmates Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel. Robbie Robertson lived nearby. 

All The Band's musical sessions with Bob Dylan took place in Big Pink's basement, all of the recordings they generated between June and October 1967, were released in 1975 as The Basement Tapes.


A crowd claps their hands at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, Bethel, NY, August 15, 1969. 

(Photo by Baron Wolman/Getty Images)


Like it? Share with your friends!

Share On Facebook

Lyra Radford

Writer

Lyra spends her days exploring all shades of history. In her writing, she covers topics ranging from the 'groovy' to the downright strange. She enjoys books, movies, and strong coffee. She also fancies herself the world's greatest air hockey player. She learned the ins and outs of writing and producing film/television at Palm Beach State and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She is currently enrolled at Arizona State University studying psychology and writing. Her work has been featured by some of the most prolific sites on the web and she is the author of the travel guide "Two-Days Exploring Haunted Key West".