Life is made of events that shape us in one way or another. Some people become discouraged with these events while others remain optimistic. Woodstock is such a famous event that occurred in the United States in 1969, and it is still remembered to date. Woodstock was a three day rock music festival held near Woodstock, New York in a small town called Bethel (Haas 1). This spontaneous event formed the most renowned rock music festival in history.
It is important to note that like any other concert, Woodstock rock music festival also required sufficient planning process for it to be successful. It was started by a group of four partners who included Michael Lang as the manager of the rock band, Artie Kronfed as the executive of the Capital Records, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman (Doyle 2). John and Joel are the two capitalists who provided the idea and contributed a lot of money towards its implementation. Initially, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman had thought of beginning a recording studio in Woodstock which had been known as a rock center. The four opted to work as a team in order to hold a concert. It was named Woodstock following the town of Woodstock which the festival was intended to take place. They tried to take the festival to this town, but they were not allowed by the citizens of Woodstock (BBC 1). After this opposition, the group decided to take the concert to Wallkill in New York, where the people did not permit them. Therefore, they resolved to move the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, as they called it to Bethel which was about 65 miles from Woodstock town. This place was perfect and nice for holding a concert. Land describes it by saying that it was raised for the stage and had a lake in its background. They rented this place from a prominent dairy farmer called Max Yasgur.
After successfully getting the venue, they planned to hold the festival from 15th August to 17th August 1969. They expected to attract a large crowd, and, therefore, worked out on some modalities to ensure that they would succeed. Before the D-day came to effect, the state and the county officials prepared adequately to handle the large gathering that was expected. The New York state government placed things in order for the coming festival by ensuring that any unexpected problem could be solved. The four partners scheduled well to present acts that have never been performed before. The first day of the Woodstock was planned for the presentation of folk music with Joan Baez as the headlining band.
Woodstock team anticipated receiving a crowd of about 50,000 to 100,000 people. Just a day before the official opening of the festival, there was a heavy traffic jam leading to the venue. Most roads were blocked, and people were actually in festive mood. On the first day, more than 400,000 people flocked the concert. Richie Havens broke the ice by starting the Woodstock. The management was not able to contain the pressure from the crowd that kept on increasing with time (Mitchell 1). Ticket taking became a difficult process by the management as some people jumped over the fences. Truly, the crowd was big and unmanageable by the management officials. Richie Havens entertained the audience for almost three hours. It is noted that this was not supposed to happen because there were some bands expected during these hours. However, the increasing gathering and lack of proper organization altered the scheduled activities. The crowd became bored with this band and began to shout (Zeppelin, 1). Finally, the U.S. army helicopter brought in some musicians who saved the situation of animosity and rebellion from the crowd. During the three days of the festival, the small town of Bethel was densely populated and became one of the state’s largest cities. The concert site became a disaster area even as the number of people continued to increase. There was no food, good medical care and sanitation. The situation grew worse as the people kept coming into the concert. Fortunately, the helicopters flew in food, doctors and medical supplies that had been planned for.
Most of the people that attended the concert were referred to as Hippies who consistently rebelled against the Vietnam War. Their dressing style was unethical, and they indulged in immoral sexual behavior and drug abuse. The culture of the Hippies dominated the festival. The Woodstock denoted the ideas of this culture by the distinct music, language, dressing pattern and behavior. The concert was formed behind this culture, and it wanted to influence many people into it.
On Saturday, the crowd rested until noon when Quill came to the stage. She was followed by Keen Hartly and Santana who came on stage at half past two in the afternoon. The entertainment continued up to 8.30 am (Robert 99). The atmosphere of the concert was spoilt by the tragic event. Raymond Mizak was killed by a tractor that was pulling a tank trailer to collect the refuse. The concert site had been polluted with all sort of trash. Therefore, it was necessary to do the cleaning. Unfortunately, this boy was sleeping besides the garbage that was to be collected. To get out with words, the tractor ran over him. On the same day, the crowd became suspicious and fearful when two army jet planes passed over the town of Bethel. An immense sound of the jet planes raised eyebrows among the people that the government was against the Woodstock music festival. Similarly, there are couples of stories worth remembering. The crowd rested for some time until 2.00 pm when Joe Cocker broke the stage with a boring band that made some people leave. However, the show picked up when Country Joe and Fish rocked the stage with Jimi Hendrix ending the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, one of the most remarkable events ever. Another non–drug related incident occurred. One of the hippies drove a motorcycle towards the El Monaco Hotel while carrying an expectant woman who conceived after a short while.