Had I been on the ball I’d have done this post on the actual anniversary of Woodstock, but instead it’ll be today! Woodstock is probably the most iconic music festival ever. It took place over August 15-18, 1969 and over 400,000 people attended. When it was being planned it wasn’t anticipated to be anywhere as big as it became. They thought originally they might have 25,000 attendees, but popularity exploded and attendance swelled. Tickets sold for $18-24 ($120-150 today), so pretty comparable to many of the big festivals today.
Some of the biggest names in music performed at Woodstock and were cemented into music history that weekend. I haven’t heard of all of them, but some of the bigger names, such as Santana, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who and Jimi Hendrix are still very popular nearly 50 years later.
Woodstock is often synonymous with the peace, love and rock n roll mentality. I’ve heard of discussed as the epitome of hippie culture, crafting a utopian existence, if only for a weekend. It takes a lot for an event to solidify into the public memory, especially when it’s positive. People remember negative things more easily, so for Woodstock to be set into the cultural collective history, is impressive. Even though I have never attended a music festival before and wasn’t born until 19 years after Woodstock occurred, I am still very aware of it. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be there, to experience history on that magnitude, especially such a positive event. I think the closest modern approximation of Woodstock might be the Glastonbury Music Festival, but it’s hard to compare between a one time musical extravaganza and an annual event.
What does Woodstock mean to you? Do you know anyone who attended?
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