Woodstock had made such headlines that everyone from the Baby Boomer era wanted to go. As you might imagine, it became one of the most treasured events ever. In fact, these timeless photos capture moments in the most iconic music and art fair in American history. Back then you didn’t need a cell phone camera to prove you had fun. You just needed a spirit who was willing to do anything in the name of free will, love and most importantly, flower power.Over 400,000 people attended Woodstock in 1969. Can you imagine losing track of your significant other? Fortunately, this was the season of loving, so you could find new people to connect with. Want to know more? Let’s take a look at the most beautiful collection of Woodstock pictures that will really take your breath away.
On August 15, 1969, people drove up to Bethel, New York, to experience the Woodstock Music and Art Fair festival, which was like the Coachella of that time period. What they weren’t expecting was a massive back up. But that’s okay because people got out of their cars and made new friends.
Scorsese actually made a documentary of the iconic event that would be shown over and over again throughout the globe. We’re not sure if this is what jumpstarted his career, but it was certainly a major stepping stone.
Tie-dye was invented in the mid 60s and it made clothes seem like a unicorn had thrown up on them. The process involved folding, twisting, pleating, or crumbling the garment and binding it with string or rubber bands before applying the dye. Hippies loved the bright colors and sold tie-dye clothing at Woodstock.
It wasn’t just trendy to wear flowers on your hair. It was a statement of peace. So in lieu of armor, they bravely walked around with flowers stuck to their heads to express harmony and nature to counter the ongoing Vietnam War.
The folks who organized Woodstock wanted to charge an entrance fee. But they quickly changed their tunes when a bunch of bright-eyed but seriously broke hippies appeared on the grounds where Woodstock was going to take place.
A lot of the performers that were on stage were already pretty popular music stars. Others were on their way to becoming superstars. In this photo, we see Grace Slick performing White Rabbit on stage with Jefferson Airplane.
Woodstock organizers probably had no idea that Woodstock would become such a legendary event. But that’s exactly what they did in 1969. They created an event unlike any other and now the festival continues to live on in these photos, in our hearts, and in the memories of those still around to remember the good old days.
Aside from music, Woodstock had tons of things going on, including rebellious young people. Hippie vans were totally groovy back then. But a lot of attendees enjoyed the freedom to do whatever they wanted, even if that included consuming illegal substances. Half the people there were probably high as a kite but didn’t get in trouble because of it.
No one could have foreseen how many people would attend Woodstock, which became an issue. There just weren’t enough things like amenities, space, and supplies to accommodate everyone, but that wasn’t such a big deal for attendees. Everyone was there to have fun. They were generous and friendly, so folks did their best to get along without complaining.
Not all of the 33 performances at Woodstock were documented or became oh-so-memorable. Sadly, the Woodstock documentary had to cut certain acts out to make a final product that everyone would enjoy. Unfortunately, this meant that folks like Sly and the Family Stone didn’t make it into the documentary. But we’re sure they made it into photos and the memories of those at Woodstock.
It might have been the festival of love, but it was all about compromise behind the scenes. The Woodstock managers weren’t exactly feeling the love when a couple of performers demanded money. The musicians felt that performing among so many people required certain compensations. Fortunately, they managed turned to local banks to scrape up enough cash to pay them.
The festival may have been all about flower power, but the land itself took a serious hit. The festival got relocated Woodstock to the farmland of Max Yasgur. The people behind Woodstock offered him $10,000 to use his property. But so many people showed up for the event, that they wound up causing up to $50,000 in damages to the land.
Joel Rosenman, Michael Lang and John Roberts were responsible for Woodstock but didn’t earn a dime. They initially spent approximately $750,000 and assumed they would recover that money from all the income the festival would make. But sadly, they wound up spending about $2.5 million and only made approximately $1.5 million.
Photos like this one prove just how massive the crowd at Woodstock really was in 1969. There’s virtually no wiggle room in this crowd. We’re surprised people could even move around the campgrounds. This photo gives us a bird’s eye view of the event that managed to bring people of various races and creed together for a loving good time.
Hippies may not have believed in capitalism, but they still had empty stomachs that needed to be filled. Community was a big deal for these people and they also believed in sharing resources. But it was also the real world, and there were a lot of mouths to fill, so there were vendors around to feed the horde of attendees. And yes! They charged people for the food.
The Woodstock managers had no way of knowing how big the Woodstock festival was going to be. They knew they were pulling an event together, but they hadn’t realized that Woodstock was going to become the blueprint for live music events. Had they known what they were doing, they might have been better prepared.
Max Yasgur may have been considered a music legend but he wasn’t a musician by any means. As we mentioned earlier, it was his land that the hippies used to celebrate the season of loving. And there’s a reason why he was so Gung-ho about the whole thing. He firmly believed in everything the hippies represented. When he passed, the Rolling Stones published a full-page obituary for him.
Most attendees were hippies who frowned in the face of things like rules, regulations and healthcare. But they didn’t mind making lots of babies in the 1960s. In fact, two babies were born in Woodstock, but no one knows who they were.
Hippies were not a violent group, but their ideas were considered radical and some would say extreme. They opposed the Vietnam War and promoted peace. They were also huge supporters of tolerance, so institutionalized racism was something they opposed. One of the big reasons Woodstock was so popular was that it was a festival everyone was welcomed to attend.
Hippies didn’t mind getting lost at Woodstock because they chose love over material possessions. Hippies enjoyed every second of life because they wandered around without a specific course. From their perspective, home was wherever they happened to be. But if you found yourself lost, you could always find a new posse to hang with until you found your way back home.
It probably took ages for people to find their way back to their cars or vans after Woodstock. When people drove up to experience Woodstock, they weren’t expecting a massive back up. But that’s okay because people got out of their cars and walked to the festival. But after so much partying, they probably couldn’t tell which car was theirs if they were standing in front of it.
Woodstock was unique in so many ways that trying to recreate it was truly an impossible task. Oh, sure, these days, people have Coachella, but it’s certainly no Woodstock. Over the decades, people tried to recreate Woodstock, but couldn’t replicate the exact same experience of that era and we doubt that anyone ever will.
The hippies might have been pro-peace and anti-war but they were not enemies of the military. The reason hippies protested the war was because they didn’t feel that young soldiers needed to lose their lives in a senseless battle. The military appreciated that, so when hippies needed food or other supplies, they provided it. They even drove performers and gave music bands an airlift. How groovy!
33 musical acts might seem like a lot but some music artists and bands couldn’t make it to Woodstock. Iron Butterfly wasn’t able to get out of the New York Airport in time. Meanwhile, notable music artists like John Lennon ran into trouble getting to the states. And then there was the Jeff Beck Group who probably would have been there if they hadn’t broken up a couple of days before Woodstock.
There was no sense in crying over those who couldn’t be there because there were legends there too. Jimi Hendrix was considered one of the most amazing musicians of that era, and possibly of modern music history. He attended Woodstock. Unfortunately, he performed early in the day when most attendees were already getting ready to leave. But those who saw him got to experience an incredible performance.
Do you know why the Woodstock managers didn’t make a lot of money? Blame the music artists. You didn’t think that the musical performers who attended would do it out of the kindness of their hearts, did you? Jefferson Airplane earned $12,000 for their performance while Jimi Hendrix earned $18,000. But performers like The Who and Janis Joplin demanded payment before they performed.