Woodstock 69'

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Woodstock 69'
–"Three Days of Peace and Music"

The Sixties were an exciting revolutionary period with great cultural change. Some

people called it the "decade of discontent" due to the race riots in Detroit and LA, and the

demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Other people called it the decade of "Peace, Love, and

Harmony". The sixties were about assassination, unforgettable fashion, new styles of music, civil

rights, gay and women's liberation, Vietnam, Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, peace

marches, sexual freedom, drug experimentation, and Woodstock (Woodstock 1). All of these components caused

a change in the world of popular music and society. The most famous of the sixties rock festivals

was Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

Woodstock Planning

Woodstock was a rock music festival that took place near Woodstock, New York in a

town called Bethel. The festival took place over three days, August 15, 16, and 17, 1969. The

original plan for Woodstock was an outdoor rock festival for "Three Days of Peace and Music" in

the Catskill village of Woodstock. The festival was expected to attract 50,000 to 100,000 people.

It was estimated that an unexpected 400,000 or more people attended. It began with partners

Michael Lang, (the manager of a rock band), Artie Kronfeld, (an executive at Capitol Records),

and two capitalists John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, who supplied most of the money and the

original idea. Their original plan was to build a recording studio in Woodstock. To get the word

out, the four partners decided to hold a concert, which they called the Woodstock Music and Art

Fair. The group originally tried to have the festival in the town of Woodstock, but the citizens

would not permit it. Then after much debate, Michael Lang decided to move the concert to

Wallkill, New York where the people also protested, so finally he decided to move it about 70

miles away from the town of Woodstock to Max Yasgur's dairy farm. Looking back on the

Bethel farm Lang remarked "It was magic, it was perfect. The sloping bowl, a little rise for the

stage, and the lake in the background."

Woodstock Beginning

Woodstock had more acts scheduled to play then any other single event ever held before.

They were trying to sign the biggest Rock ‘n' Roll bands in America. The problem was getting

the bands. Bands didn't want to take contracts from an unproven venture, because they had no

credibility. Woodstock Ventures solved that problem by paying enormous sums. The

breakthrough came when they signed the Jefferson Airplane, the biggest band back then. They

signed for $12,000. An incredible sum of money considering the Jefferson Airplane usually took

gigs for five or six thousand dollars. Credence Clearwater Revival signed for $11,500, and the

Who signed for $12,500. Then the rest of the acts started rolling in. Woodstock Ventures ended

up paying $180,000 on talent.

The first day of Woodstock was supposed to be for folk music, and for the most part it

was. This chaotic first day was highlighted with the fact that there were no ticket booths,

therefore no tickets. This led to the tearing down of the fences and the largest free concert ever

held. The headlining band was going to be Joan Baez. Tim Hardin, Arlo Gutherie, and

Sweetwater were also to perform that day. At 5:07 Friday morning, Richie Havens kicked off

Woodstock. With the lack of organization that went into Woodstock, Haven was forced to play

for three hours non-stop before another band was even ready to set up. Finally a large U.S. Army

helicopter flew in with more musicians. Ironically this helicopter saved Woodstock or the show

might not have gone on. So the U.S. army saved the day for a crowd of people who were mostly

anti-war.

On Saturday, the only...
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