11 Cool Things You NEVER Knew About Woodstock (PHOTOS)
2015 Marks The 46th Anniversary of Woodstock
The Woodstock Music and Art Fair – or Woodstock, as we call it – took place from August 15-18, 1969 and showcased some of the most iconic musicians the world has ever seen. However, some pretty basic facts were lost to time in the nearly 5 decades since Woodstock ended; before you go jetting off to find your bellbottoms and earth shoes, check out these 11 cool things you never knew about Woodstock!
1. The Woodstock festival didn’t actually take place in Woodstock.
Originally slated for an industrial site near Middletown, New York, their permits were revoked a month before Woodstock. Instead, they found Sullivan County dairy farmer Max Yasgur, who agreed to allow them to have their festival on his property in the Town of Bethel, New York.
2. There was no official Woodstock merchandise at the Woodstock festival.
Yep, you read that right – not even a single t-shirt. The only memorabilia to mark the day were the official Woodstock festival programs…and most of those were thrown away, still in the boxes they came in.
3. Richie Havens opened the Woodstock festival, even though he wasn’t scheduled to go on until later in the evening.
Havens stepped in and played at 5:15pm on the first day of Woodstock, after it was discovered that most of the artists slated to perform were still stuck in the record setting traffic jam trying to get into the festival. It was then that he performed ‘Freedom’ for the first time, making up the words as he played. You go, Richie!
4. Jimi Hendrix’s iconic Star Spangled Banner performance was only seen by 40,000 people.
By the time Jimi Hendrix took the stage on the final morning of Woodstock, the crowd of 500,000 had dwindled down to 40,000. The most iconic moment in his career, and almost no one was around to see it.
5. Woodstock was newcomer Joe Cocker’s career defining moment.
I don’t know anyone who wasn’t shaken to their core during Joe Cocker’s 1969 performance of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’. Already successful with The Grease Band, Joe Cocker was met with critical acclaim when he took the stage at 8am on the third morning of Woodstock, catapulting him into success as a solo artist.
6. According to stage announcements and newspaper reports, at least 2 babies were born at Woodstock.
It even featured then talents of young filmmaker, Martin Scorsese as the film’s assistant director.
8. Though Woodstock festival planners only planned for 200,000, over 500,000 people showed up.
The festival was so underprepared that the United States Army had to airlift in food, water, medicine, doctors – even bands for the weekend!
9. The couple in this iconic photo are named Nick and Bobbi Ercoline…
…and yes, they’re still happily married 46 years later!
How cute are these two?!
10. Tickets for the three day event were sold for $18 in advance and $24 at the site.
Due to the influx of flower children, though, Woodstock became a free event on the very first day. Who needs tickets to history, anyway?
11. Richie Havens’ ashes were spread over the Woodstock site following his death in 2013.
We can’t think of a better way to go. Rest in peace Richie, thanks for the memories!