August 10, 2009

Woodstock, 40 years later the catalyst of outdoor concerts

Woodstock the outdoor concert that would be the catalyst of outdoor events today.

40 years ago on August 15-18 1969, Woodstock a festival of peace and love took place. This historic event was filmed and documented as the staple of what music, peace, love and folk music was in the 60’s.

Woodstock_music_festival_posterWoodstock took place in Bethel , New York; a small dairy farming community south west of Woodstock NY. The promoters told Bethel authorities the event would attract approximately 50,000 people. The promoters had set up for 150,000 to 200,000 people, 500,000 people showed up for the three day event.

Woodstock was setup by promoters as a money maker, and the first outdoor concert that would attract at least 150,000 concert goers. Tickets were sold in advance at the time for US$18 (approximately US$75 today) and US$24 at the gate for all three days. It was confirmed 186,000 tickets had been sold.

Eventually the gates were torn down, and Woodstock quickly became a free festival, where half a million people showed up. Making it one of the largest outdoor concert in history; also the greatest logistics nightmare of all times. woodstock2

Woodstock was setup for 150,000 to 200,000 people. This created parking and traffic nightmares in Bethel, NY. There was not enough food and sanitary supplies to accommodate this amount of people. Plus there was no way there would be sleeping accommodations in the area for this amount of people. Add to this the rain, which created a muddy environment for all; and of course there was no shortage of drugs at the event. I believe this was well documented as well.

All in all considering the poor setup and logistics, it amazingly did not turn into a bad situation that it could have been; if riots had taken place.

Woodstock had the following performers, which of course made many of them into even bigger stars after the even. (34 artists)

Richie Havens

Swami Satchidananda


The Incredible String Band

Bret Sommer

Tim Hardin

Ravi Shankar


Arlo Guthrie

Joan Baez


Keef Hartley Band

Country Joe McDonald

John Sebastian


Canned Heat


Grateful Dead

Credence Clearwater Revival

Janis Joplin

Sly & the Family Stone

The Who

Jefferson Airplane

Joe Cocker

Country Joes and the Fish

Ten Years After

The Band

Blood, Sweat & Tears

Johnny Winter

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Neil Young

Paul Butterfield Blues Band


Jimi Hendrix


The following are the artists that were invited to perform at Woodstock, but declined. It is amazing if you think about it, how if these artists had performed how it would have changed Woodstock, and also their careers, as we would have known them today.

The Doors Led Zeppelin Jethro Tall Tommy James and the Shondells
Bob Dylan The Byrds Mind Garage The Moody Blues
Spirit Joni Mitchell It’s a Beautiful Day  

There is a Limited Edition 6CD Boxed set available from Amazon, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. See all the excitement as it happened. The boxed set is for a limited time.


…and the greatest memory of all of course goes to Jimi Hendrix, and his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner which totally amazed everyone at Woodstock, and 40 years later still does.







By George Luker © Copyright 2009 Krule Music Group

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