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Woodstock As You've Never Seen It Before

Published 1 year ago on December 13, 2018
By Hugo

It was sold as '3 days of Peace & Music,' but Max Yasgur's festival became so much more. It became iconic, and a slap in the face to an America that preached freedom, but offered little in return. Unjust wars in Vietnam persisted, and the persecution of blacks raged on. It was a divisive period in America, and Woodstock's three-day event of music and psychedelic escapism was perhaps just as synonymous with the period.

But then again, how did an event, held on only 600-acres of dairy farmland in the New York countryside, filled only with peace-loving hippies, become so fabled? Well, as these 30 striking images show, the festival spawned a plethora of ideas and influences. Fashion lines became inspired by more garish garments; musicians became energised with writing lyrics that stood for more than just the wants of their record labels, and ultimately, a younger generation dragged America into a new period of enlightenment and possibility.


Would-be festival-goers travelled far and wide to an event that captivated the minds and souls of millions of young Americans. Some even hitchhiked to the festival, which was billed as a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Woodstock gave thousands of suburban young folk living in the confines of their parent's generation the opportunity to escape and meet all kinds of new and exciting people. It was even rumoured that many never returned home, and instead headed straight to the bright lights of New York City once the event had finished.


Because there was a limited police presence at the event, attendants could pretty much do what they pleased and sell what they wanted. 

Such freedom gave the press all the ammunition they needed to shroud the event in initial controversy with a string of negative reports when in reality, it was one of the most peaceful music events of all time.

Several media outlets wrote misleading and often derogatory things about Woodstock and it wasn't until the festival finished that many newspapers reported more favourably on it after parents- who were told nothing but good things about the event from their children- phoned up the outlets whose journalists reported otherwise.


Designers remain influenced by the colourful attire that was sported at Woodstock. Today, festival gear is now a fashion line in itself.

The 3-day music festival may have taken place in the height of the summer, but August on the East Coast doesn't guarantee a rain-free summer. In this black and white photo of a rainy Woodstock, flower hairbands and sun-dappled torsos are nowhere to be seen as festival-goers cover up and do their best to make the most of the iconic weekend despite the deluge of mud. 

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