50 years ago, throngs of music lovers descended upon the small town of Bethel in New York’s Catskill Mountains. An estimated 500,000 people drove, hitchhiked and walked to get to the Woodstock Music Festival. It was billed as a three-day festival, but spilled into a fourth day -- from August 15th to the 18th. Dairy Farmer Max Yasgur agreed to host the event on his land after the town of Wallkill, New York backed out of holding the festival. But, unlike most music festivals today, with tight security and ticket scanners, the idea of accepting tickets was abandoned as the crowd grew ever larger. So the festival was essentially free for anyone who just showed up.

By 1969, the country was well into the Vietnam War. With a lot of young people fed up with the political climate, Woodstock served as a respite -- a weekend of “Peace and Music,” which was the slogan used to promote the festival.

And music was a central part of Woodstock. The lineup featured top artists of the day -- Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane to name a few.

But, rain, mud and a lack of food plagued the festival. Still that didn’t discourage concertgoers. What it did was create a lifetime of memories.

The legacy of Woodstock means something different to everyone. In Back to the Garden: Remembering Woodstock, people who were there 50 years ago reflect on some of the most iconic performances in music history, and share some of the most memorable experiences of their lives.

Direct download: wood8-11-19.mp3
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May 2020
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