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Woodstock 1969, A History in Rock (part 1)

The Woodstock festival was a three-day concert (which rolled into a fourth day) that concerned millions of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll - and plenty of mud. The Woodstock Music festival of 1969 has become an icon of the Nineteen Sixties hippie counterculture.

Dates: August 15-18, 1969
Location: Max Yasgur's dairy farm within the city of Bethel (outside of White Lake, New York)
Also Known As: Woodstock Music Festival; An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music

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Woodstock 1969, viewed from helicopter


The organizers of the Woodstock festival were four young men: John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld, and Mike Lang. They were just in their middle twentieth of age at the time of the Woodstock festival.

Roberts, an heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, and his friend Rosenman were longing for the simplest way to use Roberts' cash to speculate in an inspiration that might create them even more cash. When putting a commercial within the NY Times that stated: "Young men with unlimited capital longing for attention-grabbing, legitimate investment opportunities and business propositions," they met Kornfeld and Lang.

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The Organizers

Kornfeld and Lang's original proposal was to make a recording studio and a retreat for rock musicians up in Woodstock, NY (where Bob Dylan and alternative musicians already lived). The concept morphed into making a two-day rock concert for fifty thousand individuals with the hope that the concert would raise enough cash to pay money for the studio.

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The four young men then have to be compelled to work on organizing an outsized music festival. They found a location for the event up in an industrial park in nearby Wallkill, New York.
They printed tickets ($7 for sooner or later, $13 for 2 days, and $18 for 3 days), that may be purchased in choose stores or via mail order. The lads conjointly worked on organizing food, signing musicians, and hiring security.

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Wrong Location

Of the many things that would go eventually wrong, Location was the first. Despite how the young men and their lawyers spun it, Wallkill citizens didn’t want bunch of drugged-out hippies people descending on their city. On July 2nd, they even push their city to pass a law that effectively banned the concert.

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Max Yasgur
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New venue publication

Everyone concerned with the Woodstock festival panicked. Stores refused to sell any longer tickets and also the negotiations with the musicians got shaky. Solely a month-and-a half before the festival was to start, a brand new location had to be found.

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Luckily, in mid-July, before too many folks began demanding refunds for his or her pre-purchased tickets, Max Yasgur offered up his 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, NY to be the placement for the Woodstock festival.

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Too Short Time For Preparation

With new location, the last minute modification of venue seriously set back the festival timeline. New contracts to rent the dairy farm and surrounding areas and permits for the festival itself had to be acquired. Construction of facilities like stage, performers' pavilion, parking, concession stands, and a children's playground all got a late begin and barely got finished in time for the event. Some things, like price tag booths and gates, failed to get finished in time.

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Too Low Estimation

As the date got nearer, additional issues sprung up. It soon appeared that their 50,000 individuals estimate was approach too low and also the new estimate jumped to upwards of 200,000 people. The young men then tried to herald additional bathrooms, more water, and additional food. However, the food concessionaires kept threatening to cancel at the last minute (the organizers had accidentally employed those that had no expertise in concessions) so that they were in the possible danger to have a ‘food-less festival’. Furthermore, the last minute ban on off-duty cops from acting at the Woodstock festival was added to their trouble.

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First Arrival: Hundreds of Thousands

On Wednesday, August thirteen (two days before the festival was to begin), there have been already approximately fifty thousand individuals camping close to the stage. These early arrivals had walked all through the large gaps within the fence where the gates had not nonetheless been placed. Since it were impossible to get the fifty thousand individuals to go away much impossible to made them to pay for tickets, and there was no time to erect the many gates to forestall even additional individuals from simply walking in anyway, the organizers were forced to create the event a free concert.

...(to be continued)