Woodstock Music Festival

Hannah Munro U.S. History Per. 3 Mrs. Saunders

Why I chose this topic:

The Woodstock music festival really grabbed my attention because music festivals have always interested me and music in general is very inspiring to many people. The Woodstock music festival has been a huge part of American History and what America is highly known for, musically.

History of Woodstock

The Woodstock music festival, or also known as Three Days of Peace and Music, was a three-day concert that involved lots of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll – and a lot of mud. The original Woodstock festival was held in 1969 and the namesake events were held in 1979, 1989, 1994, 1999 and 2009.

The original plan was to build a recording studio for rock musicians up in Woodstock, New York, where Bob Dylan and other musicians had currently lived. The idea grew into creating a two-day rock concert for 50,000 people with the hope that the concert would raise enough money to pay for the recording studio in New York.

Problems with Woodstock

The first of many things to go wrong with the Woodstock Festival was the location. The citizens of Wallkill (the original location of the festival) did not want a bunch of hippies in their town. Everyone involved in the planning of the Woodstock Festival panicked. Only a month-and-a half before the Woodstock Festival was to begin, a new location had to be found, and fast.

Before too many people began demanding refunds for their pre-purchased tickets, Max Yasgur offered his 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York to be the location for the Woodstock Festival. Since there was no way to get the 50,000 people to leave the area in order to pay for tickets and there was no time to erect the numerous gates to prevent even more people from just walking in, the organizers were forced to make the event a free concert.

Movies and Books

The film of the Woodstock Festival turned into the hit movie, “Woodstock”, in 1970 and the profits from the movie covered a large portion of the debt from the Festival. There was a book written about Woodstock written by James E. Perone called “Woodstock: An Encyclopedia of the Music and Art Fair”. Max Yasgur’s dairy farm field in Bethel, New York, where the original festival was held in 1969, is now considered a national historic landmark.

After Woodstock:

Woodstock has influenced so many other music organizers and producers to create so many other music festivals in the United States. To name a few, Lollapalooza in Chicago Illinois and the nationwide traveling music festival, The Vans Warped Tour. Not only has it influenced many festivals in the United States, but around the world. The annual Tea in the Park music festival in Glasgow, Scotland has also been heavily influenced by Woodstock. One thing I didn’t realize about Woodstock is how many people actually showed up to the event and that the organizers of the festival had to change their venue in such a short time period, resulting in them making it a free concert. I never realized it was a free concert.