#5Things: Woodstock

Forty-five years ago today, a small town in upstate New York was getting a “groovy” makeover thanks to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair–better known as simply: Woodstock…

1. Why did it happen? It was actually all supposed to be one big fundraiser to build a recording studio and rock-and-roll retreat, but getting people to pay for admission was quickly abandoned on day one.

2. Woodstock didn’t happen at Woodstock–it all happened in Bethel, New York, thanks to farmer Max Yasgur, who stepped in to offer his alfalfa field for $75,000.

3. Who did and did not play? Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Beatles–they all declined invites (it’s been rumored that John Lennon blamed Nixon for not being able to attend!). Thirty-two acts were scheduled to play, but two never made it–one because they got stuck at New York’s LaGuardia Airport! 

4. Security was led by a guy known as Wavy Gravy, the fearless leader of a New Mexico commune known as the Hog Farm. He ran what he called “Please Force.”

5. Coachella, SXSW, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo–just to name a few–all owe it to Woodstock…but they could only dream of the finale Jimi Hendrix gave to the crowd 45 years ago, which included his infamous rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

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#5Things: Woodstock