Woodstock's 45th anniversary tries to recapture the magic
By MORGAN GIORDANO
It has been 45 years since festival-goers began to populate the tiny town of Bethel, N.Y., but the legacy of Woodstock lives on. The officially billed 'Woodstock Music and Art Fair: An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music' lasted from August 15-18, 1969. Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm played host to around 400,000 audience members and 32 acts including Santana, The Grateful Dead, Credence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and many more. The free event, which author of "Barefoot in Babylon: The Creation of the Woodstock Music Festival, 1969" Bob Spitz calls "the beginning of the end of the '60s," was a blur of mud, drugs, sex and rock.
Events at the original site to celebrate to the 45th anniversary are considerably calmer. Music lovers from around the world are migrating to Central New York this weekend for a small line up of events. Hippie Thanksgiving took place Thursday at a restaurant called Kind Kitchen, which the Times Herald-Record reports is across the street from a bar that calls itself "the original Woodstock watering hole, Hector's." Other events for the weekend include an outdoor screening of the Academy Award-winning documentary "Woodstock" that chronicled the 1969 event, drum circles and, of course, music. The bands are considerably less well-known than those that performed at the original concert, but Jeryl Abramson, who know owns Yasgur's farm, says she is ready to accept all who want to come. "That's the surprise part," Abramson tells the Times Herald-Record. "As long as they show up, they're welcome."
If there is any indicator that times have certainly changed since the first event, then it is demonstrated in the Bethel Woods Center's rules for the outdoor screening of the documentary. The rules state that it is a non-smoking event, no alcohol may be brought and no camping is allowed afterward on the field. The anniversary will just be a shadow of the original, but still a reminder of a moment that defined a generation.
Click through the gallery above to experience the original Woodstock.
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