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Dates That Matter

August 15, 1969

The Woodstock Festival begins in New York.

 Why does it matter?

Woodstock has come to symbolize the hippie culture of the late 1960s. The festival, a 3-day outdoor rock concert, was to be held in Woodstock, New York, but was eventually moved to another site about 40 miles away on a farm owned by Max Yasgur. The organizers expected a large crowd, but the eventual attendance of nearly a half million overwhelmed them. There were 20 mile long traffic jams. Access to the festival was to have been by ticket, but it soon became impossible to control the crowds and thousands attended for free. Heavy rain made the site a huge mudpit and sanitary facilities were insufficient for the crowds and the conditions. Amazingly, there was little violence, although 3 deaths were reported, one from a drug overdose. Two babies were born during the weekend. But most importantly, many of the greatest rock and folk singers of the 1960s performed, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Blood Sweat and Tears, Joe Cocker, the Who, the Grateful Dead, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez and Creedance Clearwater Revival. A documentary of the weekend festival won an Academy Award.">

For more information...

1969 Woodstock Festival & Concert
A fan site with pictures and commentary. Teachers should note that there are pictures with nudity and drug use on this site, so previewing is strongly recommended.

Town of Bethel
The official site of the town nearest to the location of the Woodstock Music Festival.