Happy Birthday Woodstock?
This week marks the 45th anniversary of Woodstock.
Did you notice?
The event, originally marketed as a ‘Music and Art” fair, took place in 1969. In case you forgot.
We know hot the three day event actually turned out.
Around 500,000 people showed up despite only selling 186,00 tickets in advance.
There were problems from the start from heavy rains just before to the event to less than stellar numbers of facilities and first aid for the concert goers.
A ticket for the three day event were $18 in advance and $24 at the gate.
Thanks to inflation, that’s about $118.16-$157.55 today- still a bargain for three days.
Creedence Clearwater Revival was the first act to sign.
They were paid $10000. That would be about $65,647.60 today- a really low fee today as you can imagine.
Jimi Hendrix was the last to perform, despite a rain delay.
The crowd was relatively small by this time. Oddly enough, it was probably this performance that is best remembered with this event.
Everything about this event was groundbreaking.
Today there would be multitudes of permits, people, precautions, lawyers, caterers, police, and so much more to put on an event like this one. Woodstock was the first of it’s kind, kind of naive in many ways. Concert goers were more about escaping the stress of the war and parents striving to give them a better life than they had.
Could an event like this one take place today?
Probably not. Commercialism and making a buck have grown exponentially since then. You would have all kind of money making ways to get your money- enough to make you not relax so much. Modern marketing methods and ideas would probably defeat the whole anti-establishment ideology of the original event. There is an unpopular war now just as there was then. We just don’t seem as focused on it as we were then- probably just accepting that wars will happen no matter how wrong they may be.
And quite frankly, we are more interested in our retirement and the effects of old age than we are in spending three days in a dream.
Where were you 45 years ago on this memorable weekend?