It Almost Didn't Happen

It's called Woodstock Festival. Ironically, the event didn't happen in Woodstock. Yes, the town of Woodstock refused to host the event! The event was held in Bethel, in Sullivan County, it's town Southwest of Woodstock, New York (which is why it was called Woodstock).

Initially publicized as "An Aquarian Exposition: Three Days of Peace and Music", the festival was originally planned to be in Wallkill, New York. However the residents of the town strongly opposed to the idea of having hundreds of hippies in their area. Likewise, the town of Woodstock also did not approve of having the concert in their area.

Thankfully, despite the short notice, the owner of the dairy farm 50 miles from Woodstock agreed to have the event on his property.

The Yasgurs

Meet Max Yasgur and his wife. Woodstock wouldn't have happened if not for this man. Yasgur was the owner of the dairy farm where the iconic festival took place. Well it didn't technically take place on his dairy farm, but rather on one of his farm's fields.

Dairy farmer Max Yasgur came to the rescue at the last minute when promoters thought that all hope was lost. Yasgur leased some portions of his 600-acre farm to Woodstock Ventures. Of course just as in other towns, the residents of Bethel also opposed to the point that they were even thinking of organizing a boycott from buying products of Yasgur's farm. But there really wasn't much that the residents could do since New York governor Nelson Rockefeller had approved such event.

Though hippies and music lovers have such high regard for Yasgur and had such high respect for him, it wasn't the same for his neighbors. After the festival, his neighbors sued him for property damage left by the crowd. Likewise, his own property suffered the most damage. Thankfully, he was given compensation for such.

Everyone's Welcome

Woodstock was suppose to run from August 15 to 17, 1969. But it ended up running until the 18th. The promoters originally expected a crowd of about 50,000. Nearing the event, the estimated attendance went up to 250,000. At the time the gates opened, the crowd was over 400,000.

Over 400,000 flocked to Woodstock. Why? Well, it was a 3-day gig of music and peace. Who wouldn't want to be part of the that? So yes, over 400,000 made their way to a dairy farm in New York City. You know what that means, right? Yes -- THE TRAFFIC WAS DEADLY.

But hey, it was Jimi Hendrix, so it's worth the wait.But the traffic was so bad. Look at what happened to the dude in the photo above. Most likely their car didn't have good A/C, he fainted. He needed medical attention but couldn't have any.

The promoters originally expected a crowd of about 50,000. Nearing the event, the estimated attendance went up to 250,000. At the time the gates opened, the crowd was over 400,000.

Over 400,000 people were at the gate. Not everyone had tickets though. Those that didn't have tickets simply made their way through gaps of the fences. Well, the venue was huge and there was no way to control the people getting on. So eventually, organizers decided to make Woodstock free for everyone. Just to see performances, most of the audience stayed on top of their cars. Mind you, it was a rainy weekend.

What was originally planned as a fund raising event for a music studio, eventually turned out to be more than that. Woodstock had more meaning that just being a fundraiser. It was one of those historic events where people came together for peace, unity, and love -- this was made all possible by music.

Over 400,000 people were at the gate. Not everyone had tickets though. Those that didn't have tickets simply made their way through gaps of the fences. Well, the venue was huge and there was no way to control the people getting on. So eventually, organizers decided to make Woodstock free for everyone. It was after all, for a greater cause. Yes, that's why there was more or less 400,000 people.

Actually, the 400,000 is just an estimate. No one really knows the exact number of attendees. There could've been more.

The Crowd

You've got the biggest names playing at Woodstock. Richie Havens opened it, Swami Satchidananda, Joan Baez, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, Sha Na Na, and of course Jimi Hendrix to name a few. Just to see performances, most of the audience stayed on top of their cars. Mind you, it was a rainy weekend.

Woodstock ran for 4 days. Mind you, it was a rainy weekend, which is why the audience got creative and resourceful. Not only were there tents, some even made their own viewing decks and tiny huts.

Things like this wooden structure were among the many made by people who attended Woodstock. Could you just imagine how Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm looked before, during, and after the event? As you can see, Woodstock was a league of its own. Not only did it have tents pitched but it had all sorts of structures built!