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Amazing Woodstock Pictures That Will Make You Wish You’d Been There

It looked epic!

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Before the days of Glastonbury and Coachella, the festival scene was dominated by one incredible festival – Woodstock. Woodstock was the perfect balance between culture, art, and music. The festival took place between August 15-18 in 1969 and was the epitome of all things ‘60s. Think hippie counterculture, tie-dye, headbands, and super long hair. But it’s not enough to just read about it, take a look at amazing Woodstock pictures that will make you wish you’d been there…

Peace & Music

woodstock promotional poster saying 3 days of peace and music

The original poster for Woodstock coined it as ‘An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music.’ The festival was organized by John Roberts, Michael Lang, Artie Kornfield and Joel Rosenman and tickets were available for $18 – which would be around $120 today.

A Peaceful Future

max yasgur and his wife at woodstock, with wreckage and trash in the background

The above picture is of Max Yasgur, the owner of the land where Woodstock was held. After the festival had ended, he spoke of how, “If we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future…”

Carpool Chaos

massive traffic queues to get in to woodstock, with people standing around outside their cars

Woodstock was held on a 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. But because of the sheer amount of people heading to the festival, roads became gridlocked, and entrance to the festival became blocked 24-hours before it was set to start. Most people just ditched their cars and walked the rest of the way to the festival grounds.

VW’s at Woodstock

a couple sitting on top of a colorfully painted vw campervan at woodstock

VW Campervans were a huge part of the ‘60s, with many opting to use them to travel to Woodstock. This is why the van has since been nicknamed the ‘Hippy Van’ because they are associated with this event.

Unexpected guests

people sitting on top of a vw camper van at woodstock, admiring the view

The organizers of Woodstock didn’t intend to have that many turn up to their festival. They told the authorities that they were expecting around 50,000 people to attend. But oh, how wrong they were! Over the whole weekend, 500,000 people turned up. Due to the sheer number of people making their way onto the farm, organizers had no choice but to offer free entry and cut the fences surrounding the area.

If I fit, I sit

a man sleeping on a motorbike in the middle of a crowd at woodstock

Because there were so many people covering a relatively small space, space to rest was limited. But people came up with their own unique ways to take a little break from the music and festivities.

New heights

men sitting on tall scaffolding at woodstock to see past the crowd

People also needed to think outside of the box to get the best view of their favorite performers. With little space on the floor, many people took to the skies and climbed up the railings.

The Woodstock Guru

Sri Swami Satchidananda, the woodstock guru, being interviewed

This man was called the Woodstock Guru. Sri Swami Satchidananda opened the festival with a long and heartfelt speech about world peace, the war, and human and animal suffering. He said, “And the future of the world is in your hands. You can make or break it. But, you are really here to make the world and not to break it. I am seeing it. There is a dynamic manpower here. The hearts are meeting.”

End The War Before It Ends You

a woman holding up a sign or banner at woodstock saying 'end the war before it ends you'

Most of the attendees of Woodstock festival were young people who were anti-war supporters. Woodstock was the place for hippies and like-minded people to share their views and heal the world through music.

Don’t rain on our parade

a woman sitting on a man's shoulders in a crowd in the pouring rain at woodstock

Woodstock was famous for being an incredibly rainy weekend and was battered with on and off showers. Although it did dampen the festival grounds, it didn’t dampen the festival-goers spirits. In fact, they seemed to embrace the rain.

Singin’ in the rain

a performer at woodstock singing in the rain

Performers were warned about the rain though, as there were fears that the rain would affect the electrics to the point that they could get electrocuted. Alvin Lee from the band, Ten Years After was warned of this and said, “Oh, come on. If I get electrocuted at Woodstock, we’ll sell lots of records.”

Camp Rock

men sitting in a circle under a makeshift shelter at woodstock

A lot of the people that descended upon Woodstock didn’t take their own tents. Instead, they opted to make their own shelters for the weekend. Impromptu huts like this one were scattered all across the farm, and provided a peaceful retreat from the crowds.

I ❤️️ Woodstock

tie die tshirts and banners hanging up at a stall at woodstock

There was no official merchandise for Woodstock, so many of the festival-goers decided to create their own garments – like tie-dye T-shirts with the word ‘Woodstock’ on them. They proved a huge hit.

Fashion statements

a 60s hippie woman at woodstock wearing a big floppy hat and elaborate eye makeup

The clothing was very much in tune with the times of the ‘60s. Tie-dye, flares, denim, headscarves and flowing garments were all the rage. Women loved to dress up their outfits with long beaded necklaces and hats.

The age of rock ‘n’ roll

a little girl dancing at woodstock

Considering the sheer amount of people that turned up, Woodstock is remembered as being one of the most peaceful events of all time. It’s no wonder that people decided to take along their children. Why should there be an age limit to musical appreciation?

The Hendrix Experience

jimi hendrix playing to the crowd at woodstock

Jimi Hendrix performed on the third day of Woodstock in his iconic tasseled leather jacket. So many people turned up to see him that you can’t even see the end of the sea of people…not one for the claustrophobe. He played for just over two hours.

Taking a break

the band jefferson airplane sitting on the floor, taking a break from their performance at woodstock

Jefferson Airplane were one of the headliners of Woodstock. Here they are taking a break from their set. They’re most famous for their song, ‘Somebody To Love’ and have since been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Peace & Love

a couple hugging covered in a quilt at woodstock, surrounded by people and litter

The hippies that attended the festival were all about peace and love – so it was common to see the beginning of relationships springing up all across the site. This couple is reportedly still together today. One love, man.

Reach for the stars

a man throwing himself from a wooden structure at woodstock. The man is in silhouette so it looks like he is lying

Woodstock was a celebration of life and the freedom of expression. Some took this concept to extreme heights. Alongside the music, festival-goers took this as an opportunity to be themselves away, free from parents and enforcers. The guy sitting atop the top trunk is actually reading a book.

All pets allowed

a woman at woodstock with herlarge lurcher dog on a lead

The festival didn’t discriminate. The event was open to everyone, regardless of color, race, ethnicity, gender. Even animals and pets were welcome. This woman took her dog along with her, because she wanted to go with her best friend.

The sea of people

a sea of people, showing the huge scale of woodstock

A helicopter filmed this aerial shot of Woodstock for the 1970 documentary on the festival. This picture shows the sheer size of the festival – just look at the stage (on the left) and how small it looks in comparison to the sea of people. Despite this, the festival was nicknamed the ‘three days of peace.’

Woodstock Cafe

hippies at woodstock serving out food

Despite it being primarily a music festival, Woodstock attendees used it as an opportunity to work and live together. Communal kitchens and living spaces were set up to turn their free time into a communal celebration, to try and bring people together through food and drink.

Woodstock Babies

a pregnant woman dancing at woodstock with her pregnant belly exposed

Because of the huge size of the festival, the risk of accidents became even greater. Although there was no violence of any kind at Woodstock, there were two deaths – one of which involved being run over by a tractor. But as two lives ended another two started, because two of the women who attended the festival ended up giving birth there!

Flower Power

a beautiful girl at woodstock wearing a white flower crown

The flower headband made its first appearance at Woodstock. The headband has now become a festival staple all across the world – but Woodstock is its true home.

Fashion Faux Pas

a man dressed flamboyantly in a blue floral paisley matching outfit at woodstock

While the female attire of Woodstock festival has since been replicated and become commonplace in twenty-first-century life, we can’t say the same for the style that some men opted for…

Go your own way

wooden signposts at woodstock popinting towards 'groovy way' and 'gentle path high way'

Woodstock made its own little community over the course of the weekend. Small communes were dotted around the sites and in the surrounding forests. Many residents created quirky signposts to direct fellow festival-goers.

Circle Time

a woman playing a flute and a man playing a drum at woodstock

Rhythmic dancing and drum circles also became a huge part of the festival. Many people attended to enhance their spirituality, and saw it as a place of worship and a place of solitude. Yoga and meditation were commonplace amongst the masses.

The Joplin Effect

janis joplin at woodstock

Janis Joplin performed over the course of the weekend, and she has often been dubbed the best and most iconic performer of the festival. Her performances were described as ‘electric’ and epitomized the rock and roll of the time. Unfortunately, she died a year later.

Model material

a beautiful young woman wearing a frilled bikini top at woodstock

Photographers had a field day at the festival, and found thousands of beautiful faces to capture. After the success of Woodstock festival, these pictures came to the forefront of media attention, and some women were even offered modeling contracts because of their photos.

Free Spirits

people expressing themselves through enthusiastic dancing at woodstock

The festival gave young people the chance to exhibit their free spirits, away from the confines of their parents. Woodstock was a space to allow free speech and movement – and many expressed this through dance.

Crafty Business

a hippie woman wearing a headband making crafts at woodstock

Some people even took this opportunity to showcase their skills and craft. Many made clothes, headbands and other items to sell at the makeshift merchandise booths.

Water Babies

people washing and bathing in the river at woodstock

With all the rain and mud that surrounded the festival, many attendees decided to use the natural shower that came from a nearby pond. Some even took inflatables to frolic in the water.

Woodstock praise

a woman dancing at woodstock with her hair fanned out behind her while someone is taking a photo

While the festival was going on, headlines with negative connotations around the event began to appear. But when the attendees got home and told others about their experiences, the papers began to praise the event.

Rock and Roll rests

people sitting on the ground at woodstock playing music on drums, barrels and instruments

After a full weekend of music, dancing, peace and love, many of the festival-goers started to get pretty tired. These people are taking a well-earned rest from the festivities, but also keeping the spirit of Woodstock going by playing music on drums, barrels and other instruments.

Friends for life

two men sitting in a boot of a car laughing at woodstock

One of the main attractions of the festival was that people could come together from all over the country and share similar values. Some people have even said they made friends for life during their time at Woodstock.

The clean-up

people at woodstock surrounded by trash

The festival had resulted in a huge amount of litter in and around the grounds in Bethel. The clean-up went on for weeks after Woodstock had ended. The residents of Bethel hated Yasgur (the owner of the farm) so much because of the litter that they banned him from the village store until he had completely cleaned up.

Peace, always

a peace sign made out of old plastic bottles at woodstock

But the Woodstock attendees did try to help with the clean up. Keeping with the festival’s’ themes, these festival-goers decided to create a peace sign out of the plastic bottles they found around the site.

We won’t stop

traffic driving out of woodstock, a couple sitting on the boot of their car playing a guitar

If you thought the drive in was bad, the drive out of Woodstock was even worse – especially with the abandoned cars on the road. People were stuck for hours, so decided to keep the festival going themselves…

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