August 13, 2019
- The organizers were all in their 20s, with the oldest only 27 years old.
- It didn’t take place in Woodstock, but in Bethel, about 70 miles from Woodstock.
- At first, organizers tried to charge for tickets, and 186,000 tickets were sold before the weekend. Organizers believed no more than 200,000 attendees would actually show up. A total of 400,000 to 500,000 attendees, more than double their original estimate, ended up at the festival.
- Organizers almost had to shut down on the first day because big name artists like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead demanded double their usual fee and money-in-hand before their performances.
- Organizers ran out of food on the first day because concession workers had little experience with large events and were completely overwhelmed.
- The Army airlifted supplies and performers.
- Traffic was a serious nightmare, so bad that Iron Butterfly, one of the 32 bands booked to perform (known for their hit, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”) couldn’t even make it from the airport.
- It was briefly the third largest city in New York, and Governor Nelson Rockefeller declared the whole thing a disaster area.
- The festival racked up documented 5,162 medical cases, unsurprisingly involving several cases of drug abuse and overdose. Of the hundreds of thousands present, there were three deaths: two from drug overdoses and one especially tragic case of a 17-year-old in a mud-covered sleeping bag who was run over by a tractor that was collecting debris.
- Most people missed Jimi Hendrix’s iconic performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” which closed out the festival bright and early at 9 a.m. on Monday, August 17. By that time, crowds had diminished to only about 25,000.
SOURCE: littlethings.com, 7/8/19