Woodstock Music & Art Fair

In a time when Americans were deeply divided on everything from traditional societal structures to foreign wars, three days of peace and music seemed to be exactly what the world needed.

Woodstock Festival in 1969

Section Navigation

The Story of a Generation

On August 15, 1969, one of the most celebrated music festivals in history took place in a field in Bethel, NY. What followed was beyond anything anyone could have predicted. The cultural phenomenon no one foresaw transformed an ordinary field into a historic landmark where legendary performers played to more than 450,000 people. Unimaginable mud and unforgettable moments transformed Woodstock Music and Art Fair into a cultural rallying cry for an entire generation.

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.

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! The historic Woodstock festival site is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. This helps us to preserve and protect our important historic landscape.  

  • 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!

Performers on August 15

Performers on August 16

Performers on August 17

Performers on August 18

More Woodstock Resources

The Bindy Bazaar Trails

The Bindy Bazaar Trails lets guests explore the area and see historic evidence of how the woods were used during the Woodstock Festival. 

Bindy Bazaar Trails signs on trees in woods

Alumni Registry

Did you or a relative attend the Woodstock music festival? Join our Alumni Registry!

historic Woodstock music festival

Help Preserve Bethel Woods

Learn more about our preservation efforts, made possible by grants and donations.

Woodstock attendees sitting on lawn