Woodstock Music & Art Fair Presents "An Aquarian Exposition"

Max Yasgur's Farm, Village of White Lake, Town of Bethel, Sullivan County, State of New York 12786

Saturday August 16, 1969 (2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.)

About the Show

Music

Photos

Videos

About the Show

The Venue

Woodstock Music and Art Fair, commonly referred to simply as Woodstock, was a music festival held August 15–18, 1969, on Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 40 miles (65 km) southwest of the town of Woodstock. Billed as "an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music" and alternatively referred to as the Woodstock Rock Festival, it attracted an audience of more than 400,000. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain. The festival has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history as well as a defining event for the counterculture generation. The event's significance was reinforced by a 1970 documentary film, an accompanying soundtrack album, and a song written by Joni Mitchell that became a major hit for both Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Matthews Southern Comfort. Music events bearing the Woodstock name were planned for anniversaries, which included the tenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth, thirtieth, fortieth, and fiftieth. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed it as number 19 of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll. In 2017, the festival site became listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Woodstock was initiated through the efforts of Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, Joel Rosenman, and John P. Roberts. Roberts and Rosenman financed the project. Lang had some experience as a promoter, having co-organized the Miami Pop Festival on the East Coast the prior year, where an estimated 25,000 people attended the two-day event.

The original venue plan was for the festival to take place in the town of Woodstock itself, possibly near the proposed recording studio site owned by Alexander Tapooz. After local residents quickly rejected that idea, Lang and Kornfeld thought they had found another possible location at the Winston Farm in Saugerties, New York. But they had misunderstood, as the landowner's attorney made clear, in a brief meeting with Roberts and Rosenman. Growing alarmed at the lack of progress, Roberts and Rosenman took over the search for a venue, and discovered the 300-acre (1.2 km2) Mills Industrial Park in the town of Wallkill, New York, which Woodstock Ventures leased for $10,000 in the Spring of 1969. Town officials were assured that no more than 50,000 would attend. Town residents immediately opposed the project. In early July, the Town Board passed a law requiring a permit for any gathering over 5,000 people. The conditions upon which a permit would be issued made it impossible for the promoters to continue construction at the Wallkill site. Reports of the ban, however, turned out to be a publicity bonanza for the festival.

In his 2007 book "Taking Woodstock", Elliot Tiber relates that he offered to host the event on his 15-acre (61,000 m2) motel grounds, and had a permit for such an event. He claims to have introduced the promoters to dairy farmer Max Yasgur. Lang, however, disputes Tiber's account and says that Tiber introduced him to a realtor, who drove him to Yasgur's farm without Tiber. Sam Yasgur, Max's son, agrees with Lang's account. Yasgur's land formed a natural bowl sloping down to Filippini Pond on the land's north side. The stage would be set up at the bottom of the hill with Filippini Pond forming a backdrop. The pond would become a popular skinny dipping destination. Filippini was the only landowner who refused to sign a lease for the use of his property. The organizers once again told Bethel authorities they expected no more than 50,000 people.

Despite resident opposition and signs proclaiming, "Buy No Milk. Stop Max's Hippy Music Festival", Bethel Town Attorney Frederick W. V. Schadt, building inspector Donald Clark and Town Supervisor Daniel Amatucci approved the festival permits. Nonetheless, the Bethel Town Board refused to issue the permits formally. Clark was ordered to post stop-work orders. Rosenman recalls meeting Don Clark and discussing with him how unethical it was for him to withhold permits which had already been authorized, and which he had in his pocket. At the end of the meeting, Inspector Clark gave him the permits. The Stop Work Order was lifted, and the festival could proceed pending backing by the Department of Health and Agriculture, and removal of all structures by September 1, 1969.

The late change in venue did not give the festival organizers enough time to prepare. At a meeting three days before the event, Rosenman was asked by the construction foremen to choose between (a) completing the fencing and ticket booths (without which Roberts and Rosenman would be facing almost certain bankruptcy after the festival) or (b) trying to complete the stage (without which it would be a weekend of half a million concert-goers with no concert to hold their attention.) The next morning, on Wednesday, it became clear that option (a) had disappeared. Overnight, 50,000 "early birds" had arrived and had planted themselves in front of the half-finished stage. For the rest of the weekend, concert-goers simply walked onto the site, with or without tickets. Though the festival left Roberts and Rosenman close to financial ruin, their ownership of the film and recording rights turned their finances around when the Academy Award-winning documentary film Woodstock was released in March 1970.

Santana performed on Saturday August 16, 1969 from 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Woodstock Music & Art Fair Location
Woostcock Music & Art Fair Aug 1969 © Barry Z. Levine

Woodstock Remembered: Carlos Santana on the Spiritual Vibe of the Fest. Rolling Stone August 5, 2019

It was a bit scary to go out there and plug into this ocean of hair, teeth, eyes, and arms. It was incredible. I’ll never forget the way the music sounded bouncing up against a field of bodies. You never forget that sound.

For the band as a whole, it was great. But I was struggling to keep myself grounded, because I had taken some strong psychedelics right before I went onstage. When we first got there, around 11 in the morning, they told us that we weren’t going on until 8 o’clock. So I said, “Hey, I think I’ll take some psychedelics, and by the time I’m coming down, it’ll be time to go onstage and I’ll feel fine.” But when I was peaking around 2 o’clock, somebody said, “If you don’t go on right now, you’re not gonna go on.”

We stuck around that whole evening, and I got to witness the peak of the festival, which was Sly Stone. I don’t think he ever played that good again — steam was literally coming out of his Afro. Musically, though, Altamont was better than Woodstock. I’m sorry people got hurt, but I have to say that everybody played incredible at Altamont: the Grateful Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, ourselves.

Woodstock had more of a spiritual vibe; it was more of a spiritual celebration. Woodstock signified the coming together of all the tribes. It became apparent that there was a lot of people who didn’t want to go to Vietnam, who didn’t see eye to eye with Nixon and none of that system, you know? The people who started that movement in Haight-Ashbury taught me the difference between deals and ideals, between artists and con artists. They were not phonies, like the people wearing wigs in those commercials advertising old Sixties hits. The real people were wonderful. You could see American Indians and white people in love with life. Woodstock was a part of that. It was the same movement that got people out of Vietnam and got Nixon out of power.

Some people called it a disaster area, but I didn’t see nobody in a state of disaster. I saw a lot of people coming together, sharing and having a great time. If that was out of control, then America needs to lose control at least once a week. Maybe I’m too naive, but I still see it like that. I saw a lot of positive, artistic, creative stimuli for America. In the Sixties, people didn’t go to concerts to get drunk and pick up chicks; they went to get bombarded with music and be taken somewhere else. When you came out, you knew you were never gonna be the same. You didn’t go to a concert to escape. You went to a concert to expand.

A lot of the con artists in America have turned rock music into a kind of Gap-McDonald’s corporation music. You hear the same crap in every shopping mall. Everything is like Campbell’s soup instead of real gumbo, you know? We need more Jimi Hendrixes and Jim Morrisons. We need more rebels and renegades.

As for the movie, I don’t like the fisheye lens that made me look like a bug, but all in all I’m very grateful. I keep telling my wife that we’re very blessed because we have a whole pocketful of memories and a video to back it up. Basically, I’m very grateful I got the opportunity to play at Woodstock. I could still be in Tijuana, across the border with no papers.

Carlos Santana on the original Woodstock Site July 17, 2010

Ad/Posters/Tickets/Program/Contract

Ad promoting the Woodstock Music & Art Fair's
to be held in Wallkill, NY
Poster promoting the Woodstock Music & Art Fair's
to be held in Wallkill, NY © David Byrd
Poster
© Arnold Skolnick
Commemorative Poster #1
Commemorative Poster #2
Commemorative Poster "Santana '69" produced from
two different black & white photos taken by Baron Wolman
Story Here
Single Day Ticket
3-day Advance Ticket
3-day On Site Ticket
Original Program Front Cover
Original Program Back Cover
Brochure
Santana Contract

Music

The Band: Santana #5

Carlos Santana (guitar/percussion/vocals), David Brown (bass), Michael Shrieve (drums), Michael Carabello (percussion), Jose “Chepito” Areas (percussion), Gregg Rolie (keyboard/vocals)

Exact Set List

Waiting (1) - Evil Ways (2) - You Just Don't Care (3) - Savor (4) - Jingo (5) - Persuasion (6) - Soul Sacrifice (7) - Fried Neckbones And Some Home Fries (8)

Releases

(7) "Woodstock. The Movie" premiere on March 26, 1970 in movie theaters

(7) "Woodstock. Music From The Original Soundtrack And More" in 1970 on 3LP(gf) (Atlantic/Cotillion USA SD 3-500)

(7) "Woodstock. Music From The Original Soundtrack And More" on 2CD (Atlantic USA SD 500-2)

(7) "Woodstock. 3 Days Of Peace & Music. The Director's Cut!" on March 25, 1997 on DVD-R1 (Warner Home Video USA 13549)

(2)(7) "Woodstock. 3 Days Of Peace & Music. 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition" on June 9, 2009 on 3DVD-R1, 3Blu-ray-A (Warner Home Video USA)

(7) "Dance Of The Rainbow Serpent" on August 8, 1995 on 3CD(boxed set) (Col/Legacy USA C3K 64605, Italy 064605 2, Japan 77902)

(7) "Dance Of The Rainbow Serpent" on October 14, 1997 on 3CD (Col/Legacy (USA) C3K 65411)

(7) "Viva Santana! An Intimate Conversation With Carlos Santana" on October 18, 1988 on VHS (Col USA 19V 49007, France 049007)

(7) "Viva Santana! An Intimate Conversation With Carlos Santana" on LD-NTSC (Col/Sony Japan ID6333CB)

(7) "Viva Santana! An Intimate Conversation With Carlos Santana" on Sept 12, 2006 on DVD-R1 (Legacy USA 82876 89534 9)

(6)(7) "Viva Santana!" in August 1988 on 3LP(gf) (Col USA 44344, Netherlands 462500 1)

(6)(7) "Viva Santana!" on October 4, 1988 on 2CD (Col: USA C2K 44344, Austria 462500 2, Japan 46DP 5334~5)

(4)(7)(8) "Santana. 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition" on March 31, 1998 on CD(24-bit) (Col/Legacy USA CK 65489)

(1)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8) "Santana. Legacy Edition. Original Recording Remastered" on October 19, 2004 on 2CD (Col/Legacy USA)

(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8) "Santana. The Woodstock Experience (Limited Edition)" on June 30, 2009 on 2CD (Sony/Legacy USA)

Woodstock. Music From The Original Soundtrack And More
1970 3LP(gf)
Woodstock. Music From The Original Soundtrack And More
2CD
Santana. The Woodstock Experience (Limited Edition)
June 30, 2009 2CD
Woodstock. 3 Days Of Peace & Music
The Director's Cut!
March 25, 1997 DVD-R1
Woodstock. 3 Days Of Peace & Music
40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition
June 9, 2009 3DVD-R1
Woodstock. 3 Days Of Peace & Music
40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition
June 9, 2009 3Blu-ray-A

Film Release Ads

March 26, 1970 Film World Premiere Ad
1970 U.S. Film Release Ad #1
1970 U.S. Film Release Ad #2 © Richard Amsel
1970 German Film Release Ad #1
1970 German Film Release Ad #2
1970 French Film Release Ad
1970 U.S. Film Release Ad #3
1970 Italian Film Release Ad

Photos

Photos by Victor Englebert

(www.victorenglebert.com July 10, 2009): Back in 1969, I was showing my photographic portfolio to Business Week’s photo editor when he said, “Would you like to photograph a rock concert? It will take place tomorrow in Bethel, New York.”

I had never photographed rock concerts. I didn’t even have a clear idea of what a rock concert was. I photographed mostly wild people in wild environments, from deserts to rain forests, for such magazines as National Geographic. But I never turned down an assignment. I did the right thing, for at Woodstock I would photograph wild people too.

Thanks to my photographs there are things that I remember more clearly. Santana’s band, for example, though not the many other musicians, as I focused my attention on the mind-boggling crowd. The hundreds of thousands of young men and women whose faces radiated sometimes as if they had just seen Jesus Christ himself. The stoned naked man who hung high on a music tower to better expose himself. The sleepers packed like sardines at night. The restless men who kicked the sleepers’ shoes away from them as they walked around. And then, in the morning after a night’s rain, the kids who kept sleeping as if this could save them from dealing with the mud baths into which they had been slowly sinking (hundreds abandoned their blankets and sleeping bags stuck under the mud). And the many who at the end were forced to walk back shoeless to their cars.

© Victor Englebert
© Victor Englebert
© Victor Englebert

Photos by Bill Eppridge

James Estrin (The New York Times July 30, 2009): Bill Eppridge, who photographed the Woodstock Music and Art Fair 40 years ago, remembers it as a beautiful coda to a painful decade. “For me, it was a visual feast, a never-ending succession of moments that is impossible to forget,” he says. Mr. Eppridge, now 71 and renowned as a teacher and mentor, joined Life magazine as a staff photographer in the early ’60s and stayed until the magazine folded in 1972. He covered many of the most important stories of the time, including the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. It was Mr. Eppridge who made the iconic image of a stunned busboy holding the senator moments after he was shot.

© Bill Eppridge
© Bill Eppridge
© Bill Eppridge

Photos by Jason Lauré

Threading his way back and forth from the stage, through a sea of happy audience members, Jason Lauré photographed the communal life that was an essential part of the phenomenon that was Woodstock. Never intrusive, yet working close-up, he managed to capture these innocent moments in the pond and in the woods with the same compassion and intimacy he brought to his coverage of all the crucial events of the era. After Woodstock, he photographed such legends as Jimi Hendrix, Tina Turner, and Jim Morrison of the Doors.

© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré
© Jason Lauré

Photos by David Marks

David Marks is a South African musician and archivist who was at Woodstock helping Bill Hanley with the sound.

Judi Davis (South Coast Herald August 18, 2017): South Coast professional musician, songwriter and sound engineer, David Marks of 3rd Ear Music, will have had good reasons to feel nostalgic this week. It was 48 years ago today that the last notes rang out at the music festival, remembered simply as Woodstock, that defined a generation – and David was there, right in the thick of it, as a member of the Woodstock sound crew.

© David Marks
© David Marks

Photos by Jim Marshall

Michelle Margetts (Literary Hub August 15, 2019): Jim Marshall’s outpouring of work from the original Woodstock festival was prodigious. His images capture what it was like to be there from all perspectives—onstage, offstage, behind the scenes. He was reportedly a dervish of nonstop shooting until he collapsed in a heap backstage sometime during day three.

On assignment for Newsweek, Jim seemed to bring an extra focus to capturing the energy of the crowd, including his incredibly striking shot of the technicolor masses. Jim said he had to climb up one of the huge lighting scaffolds bracketing the stage to get this bird’s-eye view, taken with a wide angle “fish-eye” lens. This shot was used as the centerpiece of the live three-album set Woodstock: The Original Soundtrack and More, released in 1970. Jim was a bit afraid of heights, but he had been dosed with acid by the Grateful Dead earlier in the day, and that was the only way he had the guts to climb up on the stanchion and get this now world-famous shot.

Santana Set Up © Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall
© Jim Marshall

Photos by Tucker Ransom

© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom
© Tucker Ransom

Photos by Baron Wolman

Angie Martoccio (Rolling Stone August 12, 2019): As Rolling Stone‘s first chief photographer, Wolman heavily documented the festival, witnessing legendary musical moments like Santana’s psychedelic “Soul Sacrifice” and Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick belting “Somebody to Love” in her iconic silk-fringed dress. Wolman’s main focus, however, was the heart of the festival: the attendees. Whether they were camping out in tents or bathing in the nude with their children in tow, Wolman captured the essence of what it felt like to really be there.

“It was a perfect storm,” Wolman tells Rolling Stone from his home in Santa Fe. “Fifty years later, people are still talking about Woodstock and the meaning of it. Clearly it was and still is an important event to show how far we’ve gotten away from the the peace, love, and music of Woodstock. Fifty years later, what other event do you think about? The bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Berlin Wall going up and down. And Woodstock.”

Tell me about that photo of you playing cowbell with Santana behind you: Well, that’s a good story. Bill Graham took that picture. He brought Santana, and he was sitting back there playing the cowbell and I took a picture of him. He said, “Baron! Sit down, let me get a picture of you playing the cowbell.” So he actually got a better picture of me than I did of him. There’s been a tour for the past two or three years of memorabilia. That very same cowbell is in the show. It’s rusted now, but I looked at that thing and said, “I played that mother!” You never have enough cowbell.

What was the best act you witnessed? Santana, far and away. And not only because the pictures I took of him, but because of his story about being totally stoned going on stage. You know that story…he and Jerry Garcia. He said his guitar felt like a steel snake in his hand, he had no idea what he was playing. He looked out at the audience and he said, “All I saw were eyes and teeth.” But that set..It’s become mystical and identified with Woodstock, for sure.

© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman
Baron Wolman photographed by Bill Graham © Baron Wolman
© Baron Wolman

Photos by Various Authors

© Barry Z. Levine
© Jim Cummins

Uncredited Photos

Photos from the Crowd

© Jeffrey Soffer

Videos

The Santanamigos Channel

© Ted Rothstein
© LuluxXX
CNN Interview August 16, 2019