Woodstock in London
London enjoyed a whole month of ‘Music through the Ages’. Woodstock was one of the main events of the month, with musicians and DJs playing Woodstock hits for everyone. This epic tribute was in honor of the event that captured the feel of the ’60s’. London honored this with an event that was every bit as ‘Woodstock’ as the original. Hyde Park was the London in Second Life venue for this event.
Woodstock was the brainchild of four men. Micheal Lang, Artie Kornfeld, Joel Rosenman, and John Roberts. Land had already organized and promoted the largest musical event thus far on the east coast, ‘The Miami Pop Festival’. The four men had originally envisioned a small recording studio in Woodstock, New York, but the idea evolved into the large outdoor music festival it became. Known as Woodstock, the festival actually took place 43 miles away in the township of Bethel, N.Y. Exact geography placed the site at at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm, a 600 acre piece of land just outside Bethel.
The festival took place on the weekend of August 15, through August 18, 1969. During the off-on rainy weekend, 32 acts performed live in front of a staggering, 500,000 people. It was also the subject of the documentary movie, “Woodstock” released in 1970. Rolling Stone magazine listed the event as one of the ’50 Moments that Changed the History of Rock ‘n’ Roll’.
Bob Dylan never appeared at Woodstock and nor did Joni Mitchell, who wrote the song ‘Woodstock’ to commemorate the event.
Creedence Clearwater Revival was a front liner and acts like Joan Baez, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Arlo Guthrie, and Janis Joplin, followed. This line up ensured success and brought in the crowds.
Although this was a Hippy extravaganza, it was really a cynical commercial deal to make the organizers mega-bucks. Tickets sold for $18, (about $200 in 2017) and were $24 for all three days – for those who showed up at the event. A whopping 186,000 were sold beforehand and promoters estimated approximately 200,000 people showing up at the gate. Woodstock famously became ‘a free concert’ when that estimated numbers swelled to half a million! This sudden influx of people onto this small rural area wreaked havoc on the traffic system. Law Enforcement’s only choice had to greatly relax their traffic codes and let things naturally flow until it was back to a normal state.
The event was unbelievably peaceful and trouble free in spite of two accidental deaths – a heroin overdose and a freak accident, when a tractor ran over a festival goer sleeping in a nearby hay field. Strangely there were also two births at the event. One in a car stuck in traffic and the other at a hospital after the delivering mother was airlifted from the festival grounds.
Woodstock was crazy and captured the spirit of the ’60s’. Max Yasgur, who owned the land, stated that “if we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future…” I figure at the rate we’re going, we need a Woodstock every two years.
More Pics of Woodstock
Original Performing Artist Line Up
Friday, August 15
•Swami Satchidananda – gave the invocation for the festival
Saturday, August 16
•Quill, forty-minute set of four songs
•Country Joe McDonald
•Keef Hartley Band
•The Incredible String Band
•Creedence Clearwater Revival
•Janis Joplin with The Kozmic Blues Band
•Sly & the Family Stone
•The Who (with a 25-song set including Tommy)
Sunday, August 17 to Monday, August 18
•The Grease Band
•Country Joe and the Fish
•Ten Years After
•Blood, Sweat & Tears
•Johnny Winter featuring his brother, Edgar Winter
•Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
•Paul Butterfield Blues Band