With his unique style and voice, it’s no wonder that musician Sly Stone was asked to perform at the 1969 Woodstock festival. His band, Sly and the Family Stone was known for their diversity featuring people of different ethnicities and men and women equally rocking out.
With hits like “Dance to the Music” and “Everyday People,” the band was one of the most anticipated acts to perform at Woodstock. While this performance propelled Sly and the Family Stone to international fame, it, unfortunately, led to the band’s disbandment and substance issues for Sly.
“Father of Woodstock”
A musical genius who helped make the dream of Woodstock a reality is Artie Kornfeld. Kornfeld, a musician and talented songwriter himself, helped produce the 1969 Woodstock festival.
Known as the “Father of Woodstock,” Kornfeld was passionate about the counterculture festival and what it meant for that moment in history. Kornfeld once said, “Never did I think that what started as an idealistic conversation among friends would become part of history.” He has since spent decades traveling the country giving lectures on the social movements and counterculture that inspired Woodstock.
The Man Behind the Festival
While images of Woodstock’s attendees have become common in the media, little is known about the men who helped organize and bring the idea of this infamous festival to life.
One of the event’s co-creators and organizers was Michael Lang. Lang got his start organizing festivals for artists like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa before joining forces with other music executives to come up with the Woodstock Music and Art Fair held in 1969. Lang later said that his event “offered an environment for people to express their better selves if you will.”
Though known more for music, the Woodstock Music Festival was originally envisioned as a place to debut different mediums of art and was billed as “An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music'' by promoters.
One of the most memorable installations in the concert was a photo exhibit by acclaimed photographer and filmmaker, Ralph Ackerman. Ackerman’s coverage of the Woodstock festival has been displayed in countless films and photo exhibitions. If you’ve seen an image from this memorable concert (including this one!), there’s a good chance Ralph Ackerman was behind the camera!
Get on Your Walking Shoes
With thousands of fans making the pilgrimage to Max Yasgur’s dairy farm (the site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair), those traveling by car soon found themselves stuck in unbearable traffic due to closed roads.
At a certain point, many fans (like the people in this photo) simply parked their cars and chose to walk to the festival. Soon, thousands of concertgoers were making the trip to the farm on foot. This person looks like he’s ready to join these adventurous fans, at least, as soon as he wakes up from his nap!