I was only 6 when the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, known as Woodstock, was
held in August 1969 on a dairy farm in New York. And though I have heard a lot about the festival over the years, I never fully understood the impact the festival had on the music industry, or society, in general.
But looking back at the music that came from out of the festival, it’s easy to see that most of the music we listen to today, somehow stem from those four days in August, 1969.
The music festival, which was estimated at attracting 25,000, was attended by over 400,000 people. It was originally scheduled Aug. 15 to 17, but it ran over an extra day.
During the sometimes-rainy weekend, 32 acts performed outdoors before an audience that celebrated “peace, love, and rock-and-roll.”
The following year, Rolling Stone magazine listed it as one of the “50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.”
The event was captured in the Academy Award winning 1970 documentary movie “Woodstock,” an accompanying soundtrack album, and Joni Mitchell’s song Woodstock, which commemorated the event and became a major hit for both Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Matthews Southern Comfort.
Creedence Clearwater Revival became the first act to sign a contract for the event, agreeing to play for $10,000. In contrast, up and coming group, Santana, signed on for $750.
Additional musical artists who later signed included Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Joan Baez, The Who, Country Joe and the Fish, Joe Crocker, Arlo Guthrie, Jefferson Airplane, John Sebastian, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and several others.
Nick and Bobbi Ercoline, whose blanket-clad images graced the cover of the Woodstock album, are still together today, according to a June 2016 article on nationalpost.com.
The couple, now grandparents, still live in Pine Bush, New York, where they raised two sons within a 40-minute drive of the iconic concert.
According to an article on dailymail.co.uk, the couple said they never intended to go to the original concert. “But as they sat listening to the radio that weekend, the crowd swelled, police closed the roads and broadcast appeals for people to stay away. This made them determined to join in the fun.”
The article went on to explain that the couple were spotted by a wandering photographer. The shot made it on to the cover of the Woodstock triple album featuring, among others, Jimi Hendrix and The Who.
Nick recalls that he and Bobbi were listening to it at a friend’s house when he picked up the sleeve. ‘I said, “Hey that’s our blanket.” Then I said, “Hey, that’s us!”
Though some fans still gather every year to commemorate the history-making festival, there has been discussion about a Woodstock revival in 2019 to celebrate the music festival’s 50th Anniversary, but details have yet to be disclosed.
See more Woodstock photos at tributecr.com