It was advertised as an Aquarian Exposition of Peace Love & Music on a farm in upstate New York from August 15 -17 in 1969. It also happened to feature a couple dozen of the world’s hottest and culturally exciting music acts. They had hoped to sell 35,000 tickets at $18 a piece.
By the evening of the 15th, more than 200,000 had just shown up (mostly with no ticket and no intention of buying one) with every highway and road in the state jammed with thousands more trying to get there. By the next morning, state police say the crowd had doubled, the Governer had declared the site a national disaster, and rains had made leaving as treacherous as staying.
Wisely, the promoter, with the assistance of a couple of electrical engineers that had come to see the show, managed to get the sound system functioning and had the music begin. What followed was somewhere between magical and transcendent, depending on who you ask.
Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, CCR, Richie Havens, The Band, The Grateful Dead, The Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Joan Baez, Jefferson Airplane, Santanna, and even ShaNaNa had performed legendary sets. By the time Jimi Hendrix performed his zeitgeist shattering rendition of the Star Spangled Banner early Monday morning, the worlds of music and concert going would never be the same.
That was 50 years ago this month. By way of celebrating, Georgian Bay’s finest musicians are assembling to perform this music again and relive the moments that made this weekend so iconic.
Woodstock: 50 Years Later will perform on August 14 at the Coca Cola Stage in Blue Mountain Village. The show starts at 8:30p.m. and the group promises to spend the evening revisiting the very best music from the festival.