Woodstock: in Spite of Chaos, a legend – 7 stories of Stars, the mud and drugs

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The myth of Woodstock lives on, even after 50 years. The Festival is regarded as a milestone and the end of the great Hippie movement for peace. But there were also some shadow sides.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    A Festival that moves the world

    The legendary music festival, which will be known as the Central event in the history of culture, took place about 90 kilometers away from Woodstock, on Farmland in Bethel, New York. The group of investors of the “Woodstock Ventures” had the Event from the 15.-18. In August 1969, originally planned under the name of “an Aquarian Exposition”, but then renamed. “Peace & Music” was the motto.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    Woodstock: the epitome of counter-culture

    “When we arrived in Woodstock, we were half a Million,” sang Joni Mitchell about the Festival. Instead of buying Tickets, had knocked down the lot to the fence. Over 400,000 people were there – twice as many as expected. Crosby, Stills & Nash covered Mitchell’s Song. You said that Mitchell didn’t hit the atmosphere perfectly – even though she was not there and only the TV and saw images.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    Getting there: on foot or by helicopter

    Due to the huge volume of traffic, it took eight hours to make the 150 miles from New York City to Bethel to go. Many visitors had to leave their cars and the Rest of the way to run – on average, 24 kilometers to feet. Some artists even had to be helicopters flew in, the Same was also true for foods that were in short supply.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    Cult Song “Freedom”

    The folk singer Richie Havens opened the Festival on Friday, the 15. August. One of the most iconic Songs of the event, “Freedom”, he has improvised on stage. Because the other Opening Acts were stuck in a traffic jam, played Havens for hours and the associated spontaneous texts of the old Spirituals with his Songs.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    “With A Little Help From My Friends”

    In 1970, the documentary won over Woodstock an Oscar and made known the Festival world. The Woodstock promoters were almost bankrupt, and could do with the film rights to recover their losses on betting. The documentary also shows to Joe Cocker’s memorable performance with the Beatles Song “With a Little Help from My Friends.” After that, a storm put the Festival for several hours lame.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    To the community’s sense of immersion

    Between the performances there was by say, to people who had lost in the crowd, to bring together again. Sometimes was also not warned of bad drugs: “The brown acid, the deal is especially good…” The music, the sense of community and the drug intoxicated the masses. The Hippies were happy – in spite of all the Chaos, the shortage of food and rain.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    Women in a man’s world

    In the case of the 32 Acts this weekend, only three women as a Solo artist occurred in total inside: Joan Baez (see image), Janis Joplin and Melanie. Among the musicians who played in Bans, Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane or Licorice McKechnie and Rose Simpson from the Incredible String Band. Joan Baez was during the performance, even in the sixth month of pregnancy.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    “Make love not war” – make love, and war

    Probably had went up in Woodstock only a few visitors completely. But her nudity has contributed to the cult status of the festival. To be naked In Public, was in the prudish United States, at the time, virtually inconceivable. In Woodstock, it was for some kind of freedom and tolerance of expression.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    An epic end

    Jimi Hendrix insisted, as the last Act to perform, and wood floor best-paid artists. According to plan, he would have to start at midnight, occurred but because of the delays, until Monday morning at 9 o’clock. A majority of the audience was already gone. The Patient were rewarded with a legendary two-hour Performance, including the distorted “Star Spangled Banner”-Version.

    Author: Elizabeth Grenier


  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    A Festival that moves the world

    The legendary music festival, which will be known as the Central event in the history of culture, took place about 90 kilometers away from Woodstock, on Farmland in Bethel, New York. The group of investors of the “Woodstock Ventures” had the Event from the 15.-18. In August 1969, originally planned under the name of “an Aquarian Exposition”, but then renamed. “Peace & Music” was the motto.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    Woodstock: the epitome of counter-culture

    “When we arrived in Woodstock, we were half a Million,” sang Joni Mitchell about the Festival. Instead of buying Tickets, had knocked down the lot to the fence. Over 400,000 people were there – twice as many as expected. Crosby, Stills & Nash covered Mitchell’s Song. You said that Mitchell didn’t hit the atmosphere perfectly – even though she was not there and only the TV and saw images.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    Getting there: on foot or by helicopter

    Due to the huge volume of traffic, it took eight hours to make the 150 miles from New York City to Bethel to go. Many visitors had to leave their cars and the Rest of the way to run – on average, 24 kilometers to feet. Some artists even had to be helicopters flew in, the Same was also true for foods that were in short supply.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    Cult Song “Freedom”

    The folk singer Richie Havens opened the Festival on Friday, the 15. August. One of the most iconic Songs of the event, “Freedom”, he has improvised on stage. Because the other Opening Acts were stuck in a traffic jam, played Havens for hours and the associated spontaneous texts of the old Spirituals with his Songs.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    “With A Little Help From My Friends”

    In 1970, the documentary won over Woodstock an Oscar and made known the Festival world. The Woodstock promoters were almost bankrupt, and could do with the film rights to recover their losses on betting. The documentary also shows to Joe Cocker’s memorable performance with the Beatles Song “With a Little Help from My Friends.” After that, a storm put the Festival for several hours lame.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    To the community’s sense of immersion

    Between the performances there was by say, to people who had lost in the crowd, to bring together again. Sometimes was also not warned of bad drugs: “The brown acid, the deal is especially good…” The music, the sense of community and the drug intoxicated the masses. The Hippies were happy – in spite of all the Chaos, the shortage of food and rain.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    Women in a man’s world

    In the case of the 32 Acts this weekend, only three women as a Solo artist occurred in total inside: Joan Baez (see image), Janis Joplin and Melanie. Among the musicians who played in Bans, Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane or Licorice McKechnie and Rose Simpson from the Incredible String Band. Joan Baez was during the performance, even in the sixth month of pregnancy.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    “Make love not war” – make love, and war

    Probably had went up in Woodstock only a few visitors completely. But her nudity has contributed to the cult status of the festival. To be naked In Public, was in the prudish United States, at the time, virtually inconceivable. In Woodstock, it was for some kind of freedom and tolerance of expression.

  • Woodstock 1969 – A cult Event of the masses

    An epic end

    Jimi Hendrix insisted, as the last Act to perform, and wood floor best-paid artists. According to plan, he would have to start at midnight, occurred but because of the delays, until Monday morning at 9 o’clock. A majority of the audience was already gone. The Patient were rewarded with a legendary two-hour Performance, including the distorted “Star Spangled Banner”-Version.

    Author: Elizabeth Grenier


The idea of the two concert promoter Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld had, both were very experienced in the Organisation of large festivals. A profitable concert marathon with 32 well-known Bands and soloists had in mind for them. “Three days of peace and music” should be. Peaceful it remained, indeed, largely to the end. But otherwise things went so wrong, also in the case of later Revival Festivals.

1. Hippie Event without Bob Dylan

The planned three-day Open-Air concert was to be held in the vicinity of Bob Dylan’s place of residence Woodstock. But Dylan fought back, and in addition to many other residents. The concert was moved to Bethel (New York).

Better views from the Flower-Power Bus

In his autobiography, Dylan writes: “in the past, once the place had been a haven of calm, now. In all of the fifty States had been printed well cards, the loss of Dropouts and drug addicts, our Farm could find. Pilgrims from distant California, hung around. To broke all day – and night-time hours idiots with us.” Before the Festival, Bob Dylan was looking into the Distance and the time spent with his family in New York City. In Woodstock, the well-known folk singer, will serve had as a driving force did not occur.

2. Pre-Programmed Chaos

With around 200,000 visitors, the organizers of the music festival had expected. At the end came to over 400,000. “It looked like a crowd of people, it looked like a carpet,” recalls singer Nancy Nevins from the Band Sweetwater to the AP news Agency. She saw the crowds from the helicopter. Instead of paying, not razing of the people fences to come on the grounds, the catering was enough, and the rain turned the ground into mud.

3. The legacy: drugs, garbage and feces can

The clean-up work during the Hippiefests

As the Festival was over, behind the people around Bethel, leaving a desert of mud, garbage and faeces. Debra Conway lived in the vicinity of the festival site and describes her impressions in AP: “To Sunday disgusting, it was really muddy and smelly and damp and steaming. It was not the great Glamour-myth. We were so high on drugs, for the people who had taken drugs, maybe it was different.” Drugs such as Cannabis, Heroin and LSD so-called powers of mind-expanding drugs in Woodstock the round. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, the Stars on the Woodstock stage, Heroin killed less than a year later: Jimi Hendrix on his drug use and Janis Joplin of a drug Overdose.

Died young of a Heroin: Janis Joplin died in 1970 at the age of 27

4. Economically, (k)a clean case

The famous music festival took place from 15. up to the age of 18. August 1969 on the site of the dairy farmer Max Yasgur in the small town of Bethel in upstate New York. A concert for the Hippie Generation, for all those who were against the Vietnmamkrieg and the bourgeois life style is frowned-upon, wanted to be free, peaceful and tolerant. The feel of the ‘ 68-Generation. However, in the case of the investors, the commercial interests were in the foreground. According to research of the Austrian society for music economic research the Festival fees 2,000,000 in the U.S. cost a Dollar, plus an additional 600,000 for legal costs and severance payments. Only 1.8 million came in through ticket sales in the coffers, and a further $ 1.5 million, the organizers earned the film rights of the great Woodstock-documentation. Without which the company would have had to go bankrupt. It remained a Minus of $ 100,000.

5. Woodstock II: the Revival in 1994

Sinking in the mud – The “Modstock-Festival” 1994

25 years after Woodstock, they had learned from the mistakes. Again, the Konzertptomoter Michael Long, attracted 350,000 visitors in the small town of Saugerties in the state of New York, it was. 12. to 14. In August 1994, the area was not fenced in, but also guarded. Drugs were prohibited, and commercial providers were responsible for the catering. After all, a Ticket cost 135 US dollars. “We waited for him for 25 years…”, with these words, Bob Dylan was announced on the stage, the time of the party. What remained of 1969 were rain and mud, so this Festival is also known as “Mudstock” in the story.

6. Woodstock III: the disastrous Revival in 1999

In 1999, 30 years after Woodstock, had Michael with his Finger in the game, however, proved this time was not a happy knack. 250,000 spectators, he had mobilized to a Festival “of peace, love and happiness”, but the Festival in Rome (New York) degenerated from. Instead of a Meadow, and the Whole was held on Asphalt. The heat was hardly bearable, the prices for the food were high. After a peaceful beginning of the concert, it came to riots, in which visitors were seriously injured. During the performance of Limp Bizkit, several men raped a woman directly in front of the stage. Rioters damaged cars, stalls, fences and toilets. Also stage and speaker towers brought them down. At the conclusion of the Woodstock anniversary festivals, some of the rioters fire laid on the concert site, the lying around the waste caught fire. Sale of vehicles and itinerant traders were looted. A police operation to end the riots. This inglorious conclusion many of “the day the 90s died, proclaimed”.

7. Woodstock, the myth lives on

Woodstock or bust, Woodstock, or Nothing, is on this Bus at the Festival in 2009

Since 2017, the former festival site is on the Lawn of Bethel’s official cultural monument of the USA. Was the 90s, a non-profit organization operates a Woodstock Museum.Archaeologists from a US University try, meanwhile, to determine the exact location of the stage, and have found your grave, broken glass, and closures of beverage cans already. Every year, the Woodstock Revival festivals of Waffenrod Germany to Bethel in the United States. Because even though the actual Woodstock Revival, of Michael Lang to the 50. The anniversary is planned in the short term, was cancelled because the artist and the investors are bailed out, so held on the former festival site in Bethel is also in this jubilee year of concerts, including with Ringo Starr and Santana.