No one knew before the 15th of August 1969 that the Woodstock music festival would create history. It was put up by a group of four individuals who originally wanted to build a music studio. When the word spread about the music festival, the locals did whatever they could to get it cancelled.
More than 50,000 tickets were sold in advance, but over 400,000 individuals turned up for the event. What happened at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm from August 15 to 15 became legendary. Here are some of the troubles that the festival had to face:
A thunderstorm threatened the festival
Those were the times when there were no 24-hour channels forecasting weather. Since there were no smartphones back then, there were no weather apps either. Very few of the festival attendees had come prepared for the thunderstorm. Many of them had thought that the venue was well-stocked with food and water.
People didn’t bring any ponchos or rain gear for protection. Then, the massive crowd of festival attendees had to face waves of torrential water. Later, there was no food or water left to feed the festival attendees. Fortunately, local communities helped prepare food at the venue and made sure that everyone had enough to eat.
Richie Havens had to perform the opening act
Four of the bands that were supposed to play on the first day got stuck in heavy traffic. The first act of the festival was supposed to be performed by Sweetwater. Instead, Richie Havens was brought in to save the day. He was a folk singer and did an excellent job playing every song that he knew. While he was performing, the staff at Woodstock continued building the stage around him and finished the work.
After multiple encores, Havens was drenched in sweat. He still came out and played one more song. The surprising aspect of this song was that he himself didn’t know what it was going to be. Nevertheless, the song ‘freedom’ was well played and the audience loved it.
Organizers failed to put up fencing
The organizers of the Woodstock music festival failed to put up fencing during the months leading up to the festival. The event was originally planned in the town of Wallkill. However, they had faced opposition from the older generation living in the neighbourhood as they hated hippies.
According to these elderly people, hippies were slackers. Some even considered them dangerous. This led them to look for another venue. Finally, they got a dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Due to such hassles, the organizers didn’t find enough time to build the fences. The sale of tickets was stopped as a result.
Only 30,000 people heard the legendary act of Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix was supposed to be a headliner at the festival. By the time he took the stage, the event was nearly over. One of the reasons was a clause he had put in the contract. It mentioned that no action was to be performed following his performance. On Monday morning at 9:00, much of the crowd had left the venue and only 30,000 remained.
Those who were there witnessed one of the best performances of Hendrix. It was his interpretation of The Star-Spangled Banner. His interpretation of the US national anthem was a perfect concluding note for the three-day festival.