Woodstock is one of the most famous music festivals in history. Hundreds of thousands of people came out to Bethel Woods, New York solely through word of mouth and flyers to see legends like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin perform. The crowd was so big that people in the back couldn’t even hear the performers. These rare photos will give you some insight to the legendary festival.
Jackie Brag sits on the grass blowing bubbles waiting for the next performer to come on stage.
Festivalgoers shared food with each other and even set up stands to cook food. Since the turn out exceeded what was expected, there was a food shortage for a little while.
It was a free for all at Woodstock. With over 500,000, people were doing everything they could to be comfortable. Some people slept on top of their cars because it was too hot to sleep inside of them.
Jimi Hendrix played an astounding two-hour set that made its way into the history books. He was the last of the 32 performers at the festival and made $18,000 from the performance.
Peace and Love
America was going through a rough time in 1969 during the festival. There was war and protests for peace. This couple, Bobbi Kelly and Nick Ercoline, became icons of Woodstock when this photo was released.
Woodstock was all about love and letting go of yourself. “Woodstock was a spark of beauty where half-a-million kids saw that they were part of a greater organism,” Joni Mitchell commented. These ladies let loose and felt the love that weekend.
The legendary Janis Joplin was under the impression that Woodstock was just another gig. Never would she have thought she would perform for so many people.
People who attended Woodstock were very spiritual. They believed in love and world peace. Some people even came equipped with tarot cards to help people figure out their lives.
Veruschka von Lehndorff
German model and actress, Veruschka von Lehndorff, attended the music festival. She enjoyed the performances and danced like nobody was watching.
Woodstock was extremely inclusive and an event for all ages, races, and genders. This little girl enjoyed running around barefoot and listening to the music. She is a true flower child.
Tie-dye was all the rage during the 1960’s, so it’s no mystery why clothing with the design was being sold at Woodstock. Everywhere you looked, you would see bright, fun colors.
it was easy to get lost at Woodstock. The only way to know where you were going was checking out these groovy signs.
Grace Slick, the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, hung out with his drummer’s wife, Sally Mann, during the festival watching other performers. Mann has fond memories of her time at the festival drinking wine and smoking with strangers.
There was an overall feeling of unity at Woodstock. Strangers came together and shared food, clothing, and even jammed out together with their instruments when the professionals were performing.
Musician Tim Hardin performed “If I Were a Carpenter” at Woodstock. He was paid significantly less than other performers at the festival. Here he can be seen taking notes on something. It could be on his lyrics or performance. We’ll never know.
Festivalgoers were encouraged to dress however they wanted and express themselves. This woman is known as the boho queen of Woodstock with her floppy hat and dramatic eye makeup.
A group of people summoned the gods and performed a tribal rain dance during the festival. It must have worked because it rained on and off during the weekend.
Playing in the Mud
The rain didn’t scare off too many attendees. These two ring out their blanket and play in the mud.
Happiness for All
This photo perfectly captures the atmosphere of Woodstock. Everyone is happy, energetic, and just glad to be alive. Imagine being in this type of mood for three days straight.
There were plenty of daisies around the festival. They are the ultimate symbol of peace during the hippie movement.
Ever wonder where festival fashion originated? Woodstock, of course! Many people wore different styles of clothing that inspires today’s festival wear.
Vans and Buses
There were hundreds of vans and buses decorated with bright colors and peace signs at the festival. It makes sense because it could transport so many people to the festival without worrying about finding parking for everyone.
It’s a blessing that photographers were at Woodstock. We wouldn’t be able to witness this beautiful couple candidly walking through the festival grounds.
People of all ages enjoyed the music festival. This photo was captured by Rolling Stone photographer, Baron Wolman. In fact, Rolling Stone was one of the only magazines allowed into the festival.
Sri Swami Satchidananda
After Richie Havens performed on stage, Indian teacher and spiritualist, Sri Swami Satchidananda gave a moving speech on stage about music being a celestial sound.
Max Yasgur allowed the festival to be held on his 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York. At one point he came on stage to address the crowd. Unfortunately, some of his neighbors weren’t too happy with his use of the land during the festival.
You can see how genuinely happy this couple was during the festival. They were truly in love with each other at that time.
Yoga sessions were led by Sri Swami Satchidananda took place during the festival to help people meditate and stretch out their muscles.
Since the festival was held on a dairy farm, it was no surprise to see cows wandering around sometimes. One festivalgoer even milked on fo the cows.
People did everyone they could to get to Woodstock. Some hitchhiked their way to Bethel while some jumped on top of moving cars.
The number of people who showed up was overwhelming. Only 100,000 tickets were sold, but 400,000 people found their way into the festival for free.
Lifting Each Other Up
The stage was difficult to see at times due to such a large crowd. So, it wasn’t uncommon to see people sitting on people’s shoulders to get a glimpse of the performances.
Having the festival on a dairy farm definitely added something to it. People could interact with the animals and escape from the music for a little bit to be with nature.
This woman is the epitome of hippie style with a flower crown and large necklace.
The 1960’s was a time of many protests. This festivalgoer decided to bring his protest sign encouraging people to go vegetarian.
Peaceful Jam Session
This man takes a break from the craziness of the festival to sit on some hay and strum his guitar.