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Woodstock's 45th anniversary tries to recapture the magic


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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czimmer383 August 15 2014 at 3:34 PM

These are the children of America's greatest generation who ironically were taught to love themselves more than their nation.

They now are grown and make up the greater part of the "do nothing" Congress.

I was born several years before World war II, fought in Vietnam and was figuratively and literally spit on by this group.

If I could find a fault with the nations greatest generations it is they did not pass on traditional American values to the children.

I submit the evidence of poor leadership in Washington as proof of what I say.

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24 replies
Patricio August 15 2014 at 1:07 PM

I was there. Yes there were some unfortunate incidents, but overall it was pure magic. On of the greatest experiences of my life. And I went on to be a decent, law-abiding citizen. To this day I still wonder, with many others, if Nam was really necessary...I don't think so.

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13 replies
steel_nuts August 15 2014 at 11:56 AM

Woodstock was a joke.
Just a bunch of pot smoking drug doing hippies that did not want to work or serve there country, but wanted all the freedoms that are giving.

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32 replies
abraxusrotts August 15 2014 at 12:08 PM

3 DAYS MAN! if you weren't there you shouldn't comment. you just don't know!

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12 replies
ellies83 August 15 2014 at 2:25 PM

For whatever it was it is a part of History.
Our American History

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7 replies
capconme August 15 2014 at 2:51 PM

What is apparent from reading these comments is the ignorance of what WOODSTOCK and the early 70's were about to a great deal of people. There was more social change and a voice of the people which led to more right and freedoms for all....including acknowledging the contribution and increasing the paltry care of our undecorated Vietnam Vets, higher pay for women, increased funding for education and most importantly a real sense of giving back to others and that the almighty dollar was not the most important thing in life.
Of course many brilliant, innovative successful came from the WOODSTOCK GENERATION.

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8 replies
leslie August 15 2014 at 2:12 PM

And now they live in a 40 year old trailer with their 44 year old drug addict kids

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20 replies
jaymeangreen August 15 2014 at 3:03 PM

dirtbag draft dodging hippies crapping all over the place . yea real magic there.

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9 replies
paulson545 August 15 2014 at 7:18 PM

Once again the liberal media glorifying easy sex and drug use both prevalent at Woodstock...Robin Williams after years abusing drugs decided to commit suicide. Can the media be anymore irresponsible ?

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6 replies
bmitche August 15 2014 at 1:22 PM

That had to have been exciting with Richie Havens doing the opening song.

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1 reply
akkw bmitche August 15 2014 at 1:31 PM

The only woodstock I remember in 1969 was the one I pressed to my shoulder when I took aim.

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4 replies
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