"54 years ago — on Aug. 15, 1969 — a little music festival began in upstate New York, a multi-day event that became a defining moment of the 1960s counterculture scene.
Woodstock opened on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in the small town of Bethel, featuring 32 musical acts, including Richie Havens, Ravi Shankar, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and The Band.
While organizers sold tickets and expected a crowd of 50,000 to show up, a lack of fencing and an overwhelming interest in the festival led to a crowd of about 500,000 eventually just walking onto the field and finding space to sit down.
As Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty was quoted as saying when he reflected on the landmark concert: “We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn. There were a half-million people asleep.
These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.
And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live — a quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic, and in the night I hear, ‘Don’t worry about it, John. We’re with you.’ I played the rest of the show for that guy.”
Our appreciation to Kamloops This Week for the above.
Woodstock photo courtesy Britannica
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