Woodstock was not supposed to be free. There was supposed to be an admission charge for attending Woodstock, but ticket booths were never put in place because it was too difficult to do so with the unexpectedly large number of people that showed up for the event. Fences were also taken down, making access easier for the throngs of folks heading into the area.
If you are in your seasoned years, you probably remember the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969. Even if you did not attend the event or were too young to understand its significance, you have probably at the very least heard some intriguing stories about what happened there. Here are a few interesting facts you may not know about Woodstock
Woodstock did not take place in Woodstock. Those planning the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair intended to hold the event in or near Woodstock NY. However, the festival ended up being held in the town of Bethel, NY. Many people mistakenly think it took place on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm. The festivities actually happened about three miles from the farm in some hay fields.
Joni Mitchell did not perform at Woodstock. Although Mitchell wrote the the song “Woodstock,” she did not the event. She came up with the lyrics after the festival from stories she heard from people who were there.
Richie Havens was not scheduled as the opening act. Although he opened Woodstock, Havens had not intended to go on stage until much later. Traffic was so heavy it kept many musicians from arriving on time, and Havens happened to be there so he went on stage. He ended up performing so long he ran out of songs to sing and improvised “Freedom,” a piece that is still popular today.
Bob Dylan’s band performed without him. Dylan never made it to Woodstock because one of his children had been hospitalized.
Jimi Hendrix closed Woodstock in front of a relatively small crowd. Hendrix closed the festival with “The Star Spangled Banner” after most spectators had gone home. The New York Post described his electrifying rendition of our national anthem as “the single greatest moment of the Sixties,” but not many spectators were there to see him perform it live. Most had left the site by the time he headed out on to the stage.