“Woodstock was both a peaceful protest and a global celebration.”
1. The idea for Woodstock came from Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld who were record company executives that wanted to raise money to build a recording studio in the town of Woodstock in upstate New York.
2. The Woodstock organizers originally told authorities that they were expecting 50,000 people, even though they sold 186,000 tickets in advance. Overall, the three-day concert brought in 500,000 people. That’s not all–another million turned around on their way to the concert because of bad traffic.
3. The famous Woodstock poster portraying a picture of a bird perched on the neck of a guitar is not a dove as some people think. It’s actually a catbird, an American perching bird that makes catlike calls.
4. Melanie Safka, who was the sixth performer at Woodstock, was never meant to perform. She was not scheduled and had to sing her song “Beautiful People” to the security guards to get backstage.
5. Because of all the torrential downpours during the festival, there was a risk that some artists could possibly get electrocuted. Alvin Lee of the band, Ten Years After, was warned about this. His response: “Oh come on, if I get electrocuted at Woodstock, we’ll sell lots of records.”
6. The food stands raised the burger prices from 25 cents to one dollar when they began to run low on food. The festival participants claimed this was capitalist exploitation and burnt down the stand.
7. After getting word that there was a shortage of food, a Jewish community center used 200 loaves of bread, 40 pounds of meat and two gallons of pickles to distribute to the concert-goers.
8. There were two people who died at the festival. One man, from a heroin overdoes, and a teenager, killed when a tractor ran him over in his sleeping bag. The driver was never identified.
9. The last performance of Woodstock came from Jimi Hendrix. It was a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and it was described by one rock critic as “the single greatest moment of the sixties.” The funny thing is only a fraction of the Woodstock crowd saw it because most went home by the time he came on stage.