Today marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock starting August 15, 2019, the legendary music event. It was a concert that marked music history. The event took place from August 15 to August 18, 1969, a day longer than the original schedule August 15 to 17. It took place in Bethel, N.Y. at a dairy farm owned by Max Yasgur. The founders of Woodstock were Artie Kornfeld, Michael Lang, John P. Roberts, Joel Rosenman, and Woodstock Ventures.
The music heard at Woodstock was sub-categories of Rock and Folk that included Blues Rock, Folk-Rock, Jazz Fusion, Hard rock, Latin Rock, Psychedelic Rock, etc. When I was listening to the soundtrack for Woodstock, I heard mostly music and some singing. Some of it was mellow, while other times it was a faster tempo, especially when it was Rock music or its sub-categories. The sound quality was impressive. It felt as if as I were there. The sound engineer behind the Woodstock event was Bill Hanley.
Thirty-two artists were present at Woodstock during those four days, including Santana, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and The Grateful Dead. I was surprised when I learned the number of musicians present at Woodstock. It sounds chaotic, but each artist has their time slot at the event.
Planning Woodstock had its ups and downs, starting with choosing a venue. The original idea was for the event to take place in Wallkill, N.Y., but residents refused. There were quite a few possibilities before choosing Max Yasgur’s Dairy Farm. The first estimation of attendance was 25 000 but turned out over 400 000 to 500 000 attended the famous concert. Woodstock was originally a paid event then it became free due to a lack of time.
Woodstock left behind an incredible legacy. This concert had an impact on so many levels. It started in 1984 with plaque planted on the site where it all took place. In 1996, TV Pioneer Alan Gerry purchased the land where Woodstock happened. Fast forward to eight years later, when the Museum at Bethel Woods opens to honour the famous show with videos and pictures. Richie Havens, one of the performers at Woodstock passed away in 2013, had his ashes scattered at the renowned site. The most recent example of the Woodstock legacy is when the New York State Historic Preservation Office listed Woodstock on the National Register of Historic Places.
Pop Culture also got impacted by the Woodstock legacy. My favourite is the yellow bird from the Charlie Brown/Peanuts series is named Woodstock after the 1969 event, three years after its creation. There are also movies, TV series, and songs that refer to Woodstock. The National Lampoon series starring Chevy Chase also relates to the concert parodies as the “Woodchuck festival.” Woodstock marked the music world for generations to come. to the concert parodies as the “Woodchuck festival.” Woodstock marked the music world for generations to come.
Learning about Woodstock has been incredible for me. I learned so much about the music, the atmosphere, and its impact on the music industry. I hope we honour the legacy of Woodstock for years to come.