Woodstock happened at a time when the U.S. got involved in the Vietnam War, and, not surprisingly, since Woodstock was all about music and peace, its attendees were strongly against the war. The photo below shows a man driving a Mustang covered with anti-war messages, like “war is not healthy”.
The ironic thing was that, if it wouldn’t have been for the U.S. army, people would have had a very hard time at the festival. It was the army that airlifted medical supplies, food, and artists, to keep the festival going. The festival organizers said to the attendees, “They are with us man, they are not against us. Forty-five doctors or more are here without pay because they dig what this is into.”
Most People Missed Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner”
This photo, showing two men in a van painted with the American flag, depicts how, even though hippies were against the “system” and certainly the government, they still loved their country and were very patriotic. And one of the festival’s most patriotic moments was when Jimi Hendrix played his magnificent version of the U.S. anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
Since Hendrix was one of the main performances of the festival, he was scheduled to play last, but after changes in programming, Hendrix’s set was postponed an entire day. By that time, most of the people had left, so only a few heard Hendrix’s legendary performance.
People Could Buy a Blue Jean for $5 and a Stand Was Set on Fire
The hippie mentality didn’t keep people from doing business at the festival. People sold everything from food, clothing, and a variety of items. The couple in this photo sold jeans, tops, hats, shirts, and more for just $5.
Food was also sold for nearly nothing until at one point, one food stand ran out of burgers and raised the price of each hamburger from 25 cents to $1. People got angry at what they considered a “capitalist” move that wasn’t keeping with the tone of the festival. Chaos ensued and people finally set the stand on fire.
Martin Scorsese Edited an Oscar-Winning Documentary About the Festival
Artie Kornfeld, the festival organizer and mastermind behind Woodstock, thought it would be a good idea to film the festival and do a documentary on the whole event. Kornfeld had made an agreement with Warner Bros Studios to come and film the whole festival. At the time, Martin Scorsese had just graduated from NYU film school and he was recruited as one of the editors for the film.
Over the course of three days, they shot 120 miles of footage, which Scorsese and a team of others managed to cut down into a three-hour film. The documentary won an Academy Award and made huge profits, which Scorsese and the team of filmmakers barely saw.
A Stage and a Crowd That Could Be Watched From Every Angle
One of the most amazing things about musicians is that they get to connect with thousands of people through their music. They get to get on a stage and look at a crowd of thousands of faces staring back at them. At Woodstock, performers weren’t only greeted with this incredible feeling, but they looked back at a unique crowd of people covered in mud, dancing, playing music, and running around; they basically got to play for a human wonderland.
The Incredible String Band, a folk quartet from Scotland, said, "It was incredibly high and three out of the four of us had vertigo. Little flimsy dresses on the girls, acoustic guitars out of tune, the drums damp from the tent, it was like playing off the Forth Bridge to this sea of people cooking beans in the mud." They said their performance at Woodstock was something they would never forget.