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On this day in history, August 15, 1969, Woodstock music festival kicks off

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An occasion marketed as “three days of peace and music” kicked off on a farm in Bethel, New York, on this present day in historical past, Aug. 15, 1969. 

The Woodstock Music and Artwork Honest, which might come to be identified merely as Woodstock, was a three-day music pageant with a lineup of current and future legendary music acts. 

A few of the massive names among the many 32 musical acts included Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Lifeless, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Santana, The Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Younger, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, and Blood, Sweat & Tears.  

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Subtitled “An Aquarian Expertise: 3 Days of Peace & Music,” Woodstock was the concept of John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld and Michael Lang, notes the Historical past Channel’s web site.

It additionally virtually did not occur. 

Woodstock poster saying three days of peace and music

The Woodstock music pageant kicked off on Aug. 15, 1969. A schedule was solely loosely adopted, and a few musicians performed “hours or days after they had been anticipated to,” mentioned the Musicians Corridor of Fame.  (Clean Archives/Getty Photos)

The unique venue, Howard Mills Industrial Park in Wallkill, New York, backed out of internet hosting and the organizers had hassle discovering a brand new spot for his or her pageant, notes the identical supply.  

Solely a month earlier than the pageant was to start, a dairy farmer named Max Yasgur supplied a part of his farm to host the live performance. 

“With the live performance only a month away, the 4 frantic companions jumped on the alternative and paid his asking worth,” mentioned the Historical past Channel.

An estimated 400,000 individuals are believed to have descended upon Max Yasgur’s dairy farm.

The occasion bumped into one other difficulty when attendees started arriving previous to the official begin of the pageant. 

Key safety features — fencing, gates, ticket cubicles — weren’t prepared, and certain wouldn’t be prepared by the point the present started. 

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Lang determined to prioritize the live performance and the well-being of the attendees over charging ticket costs, and made Woodstock free to enter. 

The organizers anticipated 50,000 folks to return to the pageant. 

Woodstock

Woodstock’s organizers anticipated about 50,000 attendees. An estimated eight occasions that quantity of individuals truly confirmed up on the pageant.  (Ralph Ackerman/Getty Photos)

As a result of free present, it was inconceivable to get a real head depend of attendees, however an estimated 400,000 individuals are believed to have descended upon Yasgur’s dairy farm, mentioned the Musicians Corridor of Fame and Museum web site. 

The chaotic nature of the pageant didn’t finish with the shortage of ticket safety. 

Whereas the pageant was scheduled to final three days and finish on Sunday, Aug. 17, it truly continued on till Monday. 

A schedule was solely loosely adopted, and a few musicians performed “hours or days after they had been anticipated to,” mentioned the Musicians Corridor of Fame. 

The scheduled opening band, Sweetwater, received caught in site visitors on the way in which to Woodstock. Because of this, Richie Havens and his two acoustic backup musicians appeared first on stage, in line with the Bethel Woods Heart for the Arts. 

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Additionally, helicopters had for use to fly in meals and water to attendees, in line with the Musicians Corridor of Fame. 

Whereas the pageant was scheduled to final three days and finish on Sunday, Aug. 17, it truly continued till Monday. 

Jefferson Airplane woodstock

Singer Grace Slick carried out with the American rock group Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock in August 1969. They performed a complete of 13 songs.  (Getty Photos)

Jimi Hendrix closed out Woodstock with a efficiency at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 18. 

Hendrix had a line in his contract that said he couldn’t be adopted by every other performers, mentioned the Musicians Corridor of Fame. 

He ended his set with “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Regardless of the crush of individuals, logistical complications and total disorganization, the group at Woodstock was (fairly) well-behaved for an occasion of its measurement. 

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About 80 folks had been arrested for varied drug expenses, however those that had been smoking marijuana had been left alone.

Though there have been three deaths of attendees — two had been drug overdoses; and one man in a sleeping bag was by chance run over by a tractor — there have been no reported acts of violence in the course of the pageant. 

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Some makes an attempt to recreate Woodstock have resulted in catastrophe. 

Jimi Hendrix had a line in his contract that said he couldn’t be adopted by every other performers. 

Woodstock 99, the Thirtieth-anniversary present in 1999, was held in Rome, New York. 

Not like the unique Woodstock, Woodstock 99 was a “grim descent into sexual violence, looting and rioting,” mentioned music journal Pitchfork. 

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Woodstock 50, which was scheduled for 2019, by no means truly occurred after repeated allow denials noticed artists and different monetary backers pull out of the occasion. 

Even so, in 2017, the positioning of the 1969 Woodstock pageant was positioned on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations — “a proper acknowledgment of the importance of the positioning’s heritage,” mentioned Bethel Woods. 

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