Posted by: Chris Kretz | August 15, 2009

In the World: Woodstock Begins

Friday, August 15, 1969

The Woodstock Music & Art Fair opened in upstate New York. Held on a dairy farm in Bethel, Woodstock was a three-day concert featuring a who’s-who of musical talent: Richie Havens,  Joan Baez, Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, The Who…topped off by Jimi Hendrix who closed out the place with a set on Monday morning.

Billed as “three days of peace and music,” the event drew so much traffic to Sullivan County that the New York State Thruway and Rte 17 were clogged with cars and had to be closed. At its height the crowd reached  300,000 people, according to the New York Times.

Much of the festival was filmed, released the next year as the documentary Woodstock which went on to win an Academy Award in 1971 for Best Documentary.

For more on Woodstock from someone who was there, listen to our interview with alum Mike Jahn who was covering the event as rock critic for the New York Times.


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