Fifty Years of Peace & Music | Introduction

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, August 1969–2019


A monthly blog series about the musicians of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair

For 32 months, from January 2017 to the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival in August 2019, we will post the story of the 32 musical acts that performed at the most famous rock festival in history. Visit us here on the first Thursday of every month between now and August 2019.

Woodstock brought together some of best musical acts of the era—Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Santana, Ten Years After, Sly and the Family Stone, and many more. The media attention before and during the three-day festival made Woodstock famous around the world, and the three-hour documentary released in 1970 made international stars of all the groups featured in the movie. Not all the performances were featured in the film. Whether because of time limitations, technical problems with sound, filming, or lighting, or because of misunderstandings among performers, managers, and film production people, a number of exceptional performances went virtually unnoticed by the public.

In an effort to set the record straight and give all the performers their due for their contribution to the Woodstock festival, this blog series shines a spotlight on ALL of the musical performers from those three days of peace and music.

A special “thank you” goes out to the musicians who have graciously shared their stories for this blog series. We are also grateful to the photographers who have allowed us to use their photographs here. Volunteer docents at The Museum at Bethel Woods have contributed greatly through their research and dedication to the true meaning of Woodstock. Finally, a shout-out to Scott Parker, an independent historian of the Woodstock festival and one of the driving forces behind the grassroots Woodstock Complete project (Google it. It’s amazing) for setting the record straight on performance times and set lists. Thank you all.

Day 1: Friday, August 15, 1969 (ending Saturday morning, August 16)

  1. Richie Havens (posted January 5, 2017)
  2. Sweetwater (posted February 2, 2017)
  3. Bert Sommer (posted March 2, 2017)
  4. Tim Hardin (posted April 6, 2017)
  5. Ravi Shankar (posted May 4, 2017)
  6. Melanie (posted June 1, 2017)
  7. Arlo Guthrie (posted July 10, 2017)
  8. Joan Baez (posted August 7, 2017)

Day 2: Saturday, August 16, 1969 (ending Sunday morning, August 17)

  1. Quill (posted September 11, 2017)
  2. Country Joe McDonald (solo) (posted October 6, 2017)
  3. Santana (to be posted November 2, 2017)
  4. John Sebastian (to be posted December 7, 2017)
  5. Keef Hartley Band (to be posted January 4, 2018)
  6. Incredible String Band (to be posted February 5, 2018)
  7. Canned Heat (to be posted March 1, 2018)
  8. Mountain (to be posted April 5, 2018)
  9. Grateful Dead (to be posted May 3, 2018)
  10. Creedence Clearwater Revival (to be posted June 7, 2018)
  11. Janis Joplin (to be posted July 8, 2018)
  12. Sly & The Family Stone (to be posted August 2, 2018)
  13. The Who (to be posted September 6, 2018)
  14. Jefferson Airplane (to be posted October 4, 2018)

Day 3: Sunday, August 17, 1969 (ending Monday morning, August 18)

  1. Joe Cocker (to be posted November 1, 2018)
  2. Country Joe & The Fish (to be posted December 6, 2018)
  3. Ten Years After (to be posted January 3, 2019)
  4. The Band (to be posted February 7, 2019)
  5. Johnny Winter (to be posted March 7, 2019)
  6. Blood, Sweat & Tears (to be posted April 4, 2019)
  7. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (to be posted May 2, 2019)
  8. the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (to be posted June 6, 2019)
  9. Sha Na Na (to be posted July 4, 2019)
  10. Jimi Hendrix (to be posted August 1, 2019)

Wade Lawrence

Director & Sr. Curator, The Museum at Bethel Woods

Wade Lawrence – who has written posts on WoodsTalk | Bethel Woods Center for The Arts.


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3 Comments on “Fifty Years of Peace & Music | Introduction

  1. I keep hearing that Santana has already signed on for the 50th celebration…..is the 50th celebration concert going to be at Bethel Woods? If so, when can we expect tickets to go on sale? I definitely want to be there and know that it is going to take planning. Will the dates coincide with the original concert dates?

  2. I was 16yrs old at the time and I was unable to attend. My boyfriend at the time and later my husband went. The stories he told me about the weekend were so amazing to hear.He said even though the weather sucked It was a time in his life he will NEVER FORGET! I am SO looking forward the the 50th Anniversary! I WILL BE THERE THIS TIME!!!

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