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Eight memorable photos from Woodstock — 53 year ago today


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On Aug. 15, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair began on Max Yasgur’s farm near Woodstock, New York. The festival became a turning point for how rock music was viewed, how a make-love-not-war counterculture generation defined itself, and how people gathered for massive music festivals.

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Woodstock by the numbers:

19: Rolling Stone magazine named Woodstock moment number 19, in a list of moments that changed the history of rock and roll.

400,000+: The number of people who attended Woodstock.

50,000: The number of people organizers originally thought would attend.

3: The number of days the festival was scheduled to last; it spilled over, however, into the morning of the fourth day, Aug. 18.

32: The number of acts which performed at the festival.

742: The number of drug overdoses recorded at Woodstock.

10,000: The number of dollars paid to the first act to sign up for the event  — Creedence Clearwater Revival.

18: The number of dollars an advance ticket cost to attend the festival; ticket cost at the gate was $24. However, as the venue was changed near the festival date, difficulties increased regarding installation of fences and ticketing areas and thus Woodstock became free.

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6: Number of months pregnant Joan Baez was when she performed at Woodstock. Other performers included Santana, Grateful Dead, The Who, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Band, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Estimates of how many people were at Woodstock range from 400,000 to 450,000, with some media reports suggesting the number approached half a million. AP photo, Postmedia files.
Estimates of how many people were at Woodstock range from 400,000 to 450,000, with some media reports suggesting the number approached half a million. AP photo, Postmedia files.
The sloping of a farmer’s field at the festival area provided a natural concert bowl. Postmedia files.
The sloping of a farmer’s field at the festival area provided a natural concert bowl. Postmedia files. SunMedia
Here, festival goers take a dip in “the pond” at the Woodstock Music Festival. The festival site, a New York state farm, was transformed by idealistic youths into a mid-size city in a celebration of rock music and utopian ideals. Annie Birch photo; AFP/Getty Images.
Here, festival goers take a dip in “the pond” at the Woodstock Music Festival. The festival site, a New York state farm, was transformed by idealistic youths into a mid-size city in a celebration of rock music and utopian ideals. Annie Birch photo; AFP/Getty Images. AFP/Getty Images
Jimi Hendrix was one of the most anticipated acts at Woodstock, but delays throughout the weekend meant he was closing the festival at 9 am. on Monday instead of performing on Sunday night. While many in the crowd had left by then, the Hendrix performance became a memorable highlight of Woodstock, especially when he gave a heavily reworked rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Henry Diltz photo/AFP/Getty Images.
Jimi Hendrix was one of the most anticipated acts at Woodstock, but delays throughout the weekend meant he was closing the festival at 9 am. on Monday instead of performing on Sunday night. While many in the crowd had left by then, the Hendrix performance became a memorable highlight of Woodstock, especially when he gave a heavily reworked rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Henry Diltz photo/AFP/Getty Images.
In this Aug. 16, 1969 file photo, rock music fans relax during a break in the entertainment at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, N.Y. Woodstock was many things but one thing is clear — it is revered by many as the cultural touchstone of a generation. AP photo, Postmedia files.
In this Aug. 16, 1969 file photo, rock music fans relax during a break in the entertainment at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in Bethel, N.Y. Woodstock was many things but one thing is clear — it is revered by many as the cultural touchstone of a generation. AP photo, Postmedia files. Photo by File /The Associated Press
In this Aug. 15, 1969 file photo, rock music fans sit on a tree sculpture as one leaps mid-air onto a pile of hay during Woodstock. To some, the pivotal festival of “peace and music” 53 years ago was an inspiring moment of countercultural community and youthful free-thinking. To others, it was an outrageous display of indulgence and moral decay in a time of war. AP photo, Postmedia files.
In this Aug. 15, 1969 file photo, rock music fans sit on a tree sculpture as one leaps mid-air onto a pile of hay during Woodstock. To some, the pivotal festival of “peace and music” 53 years ago was an inspiring moment of countercultural community and youthful free-thinking. To others, it was an outrageous display of indulgence and moral decay in a time of war. AP photo, Postmedia files. Photo by Anonymous /The Associated Press
This combination of pictures created on August 16, 2019 shows live album (L) of Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More features couple Bobbi and Nick Ercoline on the cover and the same Bobbi and Nick Ercoline, posing 50 years later at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in 2019 in Bethel, New York. Nick and Bobbi Ercoline, captured in this iconic photo, had only been dating three months when they joined flocks of their peers for the 1969 Woodstock blow-out that would become emblematic of their generation.Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images.
This combination of pictures created on August 16, 2019 shows live album (L) of Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More features couple Bobbi and Nick Ercoline on the cover and the same Bobbi and Nick Ercoline, posing 50 years later at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in 2019 in Bethel, New York. Nick and Bobbi Ercoline, captured in this iconic photo, had only been dating three months when they joined flocks of their peers for the 1969 Woodstock blow-out that would become emblematic of their generation.Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images.

From the Ottawa Citizen on Aug. 16, 1969:

Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 16, 1969
Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 16, 1969

From the Montreal Gazette, Aug. 18, 1969

Montreal Gazette, Aug. 18, 1969
Montreal Gazette, Aug. 18, 1969

From the Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 18, 1969

Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 18, 1969
Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 18, 1969

Today, the festival site is part of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which includes an outdoor amphitheatre, museum and an arts education conservatory. In 2017, the Woodstock Festival Historic Site was listed on America’s National Register as being nationally significant under the category of “Social History and Performing Arts/Music.”

A monument at the site of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, next to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, is pictured in 2009. Stan Honda photo/AFP/Getty Images.
A monument at the site of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, next to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, is pictured in 2009. Stan Honda photo/AFP/Getty Images.
The site of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in modern times. The original stage was on the bare ground at left. Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images.
The site of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in modern times. The original stage was on the bare ground at left. Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images.

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