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Woodstock's 40th anniversary festival

Woostock Concert 1969
  Woodstock Concert Stage 1969: AP Photo

Within man’s history are few moments where all have rallied together and the world takes notice. From man landing on the moon to Hurricane Katrina devastation, there is something to be said about the impact made when people unite for worthy causes. The famous 3-day "Woodstock" concert held during August 15 to August 18, 1969, was one perfect example of such moments. Nearly half a million people, from all walks of life, rallied on the lawn of Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York for a Woodstock concert, to make it known that certain human rights are not so wrong. Through this musical and arts festival, the era of equal human rights awareness became more predominant, hence the coined term, “Woodstock Era.” Awareness of equal rights for women, colored, gays and the Vietnam War were the major issues lifted in song, during this occasionally rainy concert.

Taking WoodstockNaturally such event that motivated increasing births to human rights movements, would also inspire filmmakers like Michael Wadleigh, Thelma Schoonmaker and Martin Scorsese to create the Academy award winning 1970 documentary called “Woodstock,” to serve as an archival record of the concert. Entailed within minimal narrations, concert footage and interviews, the documentary “Woodstock,” featured concert performances from famous artist like Jimmy Hendrix, Bert Sommer, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, and Ravi Shankar. Following the success of the “Woodstock” documentary, were other films, music and arts commemorating this summer festival of 1969, from songs like Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69,” to Ang Lee’s modern film called “Taking Woodstock.”

Elliot TiberThe film “Taking Woodstock” presents the festival within the planning folds instrumental to Woodstock’s birth as it follows young Elliot Tiber’s process to make his own financial ends meet with the proposed site for the famous Woodstock festival. While Elliot did not invent the original Woodstock concert idea, the film tells an untold true biography of the man that presented the final location option for Woodstock ventures when Wallkill, Orange County, New York pulled the plug on the original planned Woodstock Festival which was supposed to be held at the Mills Industrial Park on July 15, 1969.

 AP: Elliot  Tiber, June 2009

Taking Woodstock Trailer

While festival gatherings has been banned from the original concert site, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will be hosting Woodstock’s 40th anniversary concert, called "Heroes of Woodstock," this Saturday Aug 15th. The concert starts at 5:00 pm and will carry through 3 days to feature performances from artists Jefferson Starship, Country Joe McDonald, Ten Years After Big Brother and the Holding Company, Canned Heat, Tom Constanten, the Levon Helm Band and Mountain. You can purchase tickets through this link.

While the 15,000 "Heroes of Woodstock," concertgoers will be in seats instead of being sprawled out on blankets, the festival themes is meant to facilitate reminiscing the 60s legendary Woodstock Era and a time of peaceful bliss that will be missed.



  • Nora 5 years ago

    Thank you, Antonio, for recognizing what woodstock was really about. I was not there but I love the way you put it like as if you were there. Well were you there?

  • Tim 5 years ago

    i was part of the traffic that day. but it worth grooving to. Groovey way of puting it man.

  • Dustin 5 years ago

    I was there too by the second day. Yes some things got outta hand, but for me it was overall peaceful and meaningful time in my life. Other than my church, I'd never seen so many people singing and speaking so deep and open about social things. It's interesting how in order for mr. laszloseverance to make his point, he has to put down someone else view of woodstock. I liked my woodstock experience.

  • Patricia Holden 5 years ago

    I wasn't there. I wasn't born yet. But from the ways Woodstock is described makes me wish I was there for one of the largest parties on earth. Great article Antonio.