A famous slice of musical history
At the height of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, just a month after Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, and just a week after the Manson murders took place in the Hollywood Hills, a crowd of half a million made their way to a muddy field beside a lake in the Catskill Mountains for what was to be a three-day festival of peace and music. No one could have known it at the time, but the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, which began just after 5 p.m. on August 15, 1969, would become a generation-defining, cultural touchstone that, a half-century later, continues to resonate, fascinate, and inspire imitations.
So, what was it about Woodstock? Read on…
It started out as an investment opportunity
Ironically enough, the epic music festival that’s come to be known as “Woodstock” and which is synonymous with the 1960s counterculture, was organised by a group of four young men who pretty much epitomised anything but the counterculture:
Capitol Records exec, Artie Kornfeld (left in photo)
Florida-based promotor, Michael Lang (middle in photo)
John Roberts and Joel Rosenman (right in photo) a couple of Ivy League-educated sons of wealthy families who were looking for an investment opportunity.
The original plan had nothing to do with a music festival
Lang and Kornfeld approached Roberts and Rosenman to invest in their dream of building a recording studio. However, the group quickly changed course, abandoning the idea of an indoor studio in favour of an outdoor music festival.