“Woodstock was not about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was about spirituality, about love, about sharing, about helping each other, living in peace and harmony”
“I knew I was singing to a city…”
Joan Baez, Woodstock, 1969
Woodstock Music & Art Fair
An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music
DAY 2 – August 16, 1969
The Woodstock Music & Art Fair – or simply “Woodstock,” as it’s come to be known – did not actually take place in Woodstock, NY. The festival took place in the little village of White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York, some 43 miles southwest of Woodstock. The men behind the Festival, Michael Lang, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, and Artie Kornfield had originally set their sites on the actual town of Woodstock, but were denied access and permits to stage the event there, and then were again denied permits to stage the Festival in Wallkill, NY. After some scrambling, permits were granted to stage the event at Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm, and the rest is history. The men behind what has come to be universally recognized as the greatest music Festival of all time were quite young at the time: Lang was 25 years old, , Roberts – 24, Rosenman – 27, and Kornfield – 27.
The rains came. The stories of rain, mud, the “brown acid,” inadequate sanitary conditions, and food shortages that plagued the Festival are legendary. Still, close to 500,000 people made their way to Yasgur’s Farm and enjoyed three days of peace and music.
Typically, the bands began to perform in the early afternoon, with performances continuing all through the night until around 9:00 a.m. the next morning. Among the acts to perform on August 16, 1969, the second day of the Festival, were Santana, John Sebastian, Canned Heat, Mountain, The Grateful Dead, Credence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, and Jefferson Airplane.
Carlos Santana was 22 years old when he took the stage at Woodstock, and Michael Shrieve, the drummer for Santana, at 20 years old, was the youngest person to perform at the Festival. Shrieve’s drum solo on the extended version of Soul Sacrifice, played during Santana’s set on Day 2 of the Festival, is recognized as one of the greatest drum solos in rock history.