The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair

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The Story of a Generation

The year was 1969. The world was rapidly changing and a group of young Americans were searching for their place within it. In that time of conflict and uncertainty, three days of peace and music seemed to be just what a divided nation needed.  What began on a stage in the middle of a small New York farm field ended on the world stage. No one knew it at the time, but those three days of music, mud, and memories would birth an entire cultural phenomenon. 

 

Woodstock History FAQs

  • Where did Woodstock take place?

    Bethel, NY. Bethel is a small town in the Catskill Mountains north of New York City. The festival was supposed to be in the town of Woodstock, NY originally, and the name stuck.

  • When did Woodstock take place?

    August 15th-18th 1969. The festival was meant to only last three days, but bad weather and traffic jams caused many delays and performances were pushed late into the night each night and early into the morning, finishing up on Monday, August 18th.

  • Who was the first performer at Woodstock?

    Richie Havens. Havens was not scheduled to be the first performer, but traffic jams prevented the original opener, Sweetwater, and all of their instruments from getting to the site in time. Richie and his two acoustic backup musicians were easier to put on stage. Now we can’t imagine it any other way! Scroll down to read more about Richie Havens and his Woodstock set.

  • Who was the last performer at Woodstock?

    Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was brought on to headline and close out the festival on Sunday night. With many delays, Hendrix had two options: play the prime spot on Sunday night but give up being the finale, or wait to close out the show and play to a smaller crowd. Hendrix chose to play last, giving other artists the spotlight while many attendees waited to see him. Scroll down to read more about Hendrix and his Woodstock set.

  • How many performers played at Woodstock?

    A total of 32 musical acts graced the Woodstock stage. 13 were lead artists with backing bands and 19 were group acts. Altogether, 163 musicians performed on the festival’s main stage!

  • How many people went to Woodstock?

    Although there is no official count for the number of people who attended the historic music event, it is estimated that nearly 500,000 people were present at Woodstock '69 over the course of the 4-day festival.

  • How much did a Woodstock ticket cost?

    Though the festival eventually became a free concert due to the unexpected crowds, three-day tickets were sold ahead of time for $18 ($120 today). They would have been $24 at the gate ($160 today).

  • Was anyone born at the festival?

    Nope! There are no confirmed births on the festival site. However, one baby was born on Route 17 on the way to Woodstock, and another was born at a nearby hospital after the mother was airlifted from the site. Fun Fact! Joan Baez was pregnant with her son Gabe, during Woodstock.

  • Where was the stage located?

    The original Woodstock stage is located on West Shore Road. In 1984, a monument was installed to commemorate the location. You can see the original location of the stage and more on our Woodstock Site Map.

The Official List of Performers and Bands during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair; August 1969

Day 1: Friday, August 15, 1969 (ending Saturday morning, August 16)

  1. Richie Havens 
  2. Sweetwater 
  3. Bert Sommer 
  4. Tim Hardin 
  5. Ravi Shankar 
  6. Melanie 
  7. Arlo Guthrie 
  8. Joan Baez 

Day 2: Saturday, August 16, 1969 (ending Sunday morning, August 17)

  1. Quill 
  2. Country Joe McDonald (solo)
  3. Santana 
  4. John Sebastian 
  5. Keef Hartley Band 
  6. Incredible String Band
  7. Canned Heat 
  8. Mountain 
  9. Grateful Dead 
  10. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  11. Janis Joplin 
  12. Sly & The Family Stone 
  13. The Who
  14. Jefferson Airplane 

Day 3: Sunday, August 17, 1969 (ending Monday morning, August 18)

  1. Joe Cocker 
  2. Country Joe & The Fish 
  3. Ten Years After 
  4. The Band 
  5. Johnny Winter 
  6. Blood, Sweat & Tears
  7. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young 
  8. the Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  9. Sha Na Na 
  10. Jimi Hendrix 

The Historic Site of Woodstock Today

  • What's going on at the Woodstock site today?

    You can visit the Woodstock festival historic site and experience the grounds and the Museum at Bethel Woods, which interprets the festival and the bombastic decade of the 1960s which led up to it! Visit the “Museum” and “Programs” tabs above to learn more about Bethel Woods and the Woodstock historic site. Click “Visit” to plan your trip.

  • Is the Woodstock site nationally recognized?

    Yes!  In 2017 the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places, a formal acknowledgment of the significance of the site’s heritage. Members of the National Register benefit from protections and grant opportunities for preservation as well as historic recognition, joining the ranks of national treasures such as the Empire State Building, the Grand Canyon, and the Statue of Liberty. Historic sites like this one bring people together and give meaning to our shared experiences.

  • Can I see pictures and film from Woodstock?

    Yes! Visit the Bethel Woods Photo Archive [link] to browse photographs and home movies from Woodstock today!