Time magazine billed it as one of the most important moments in the history of rock and roll, Woodstock, the moment where half a million youngsters and musicians descended on a field in White Lake, New York was immortalized on camera for all to see.
Event organisers had planned for a ticketed event for only 50,000 people, however so many people descended that they were not able to control or, monitor numbers and the event became a free-for-all and one of the largest festivals of all time.
The numbers were so immense that for miles around the area cars were abandoned and throngs of people walked together towards the stages.
From across the world, they came together in a cloud of peace, love and rock and roll, as an organiser is said to have echoed out to the crowd ‘“There are a hell of a lot of us here. If we are going to make it, you had better remember that the guy next to you is your brother.” The photographs show that this was definitely achieved. They show the innocent spirit of the young in 1969 and the breakdown of all prejudice, at the height of America’s civil rights movement. The festival was largely considered to be the definitive nexus for the larger ‘counter-culture generation’
Over the course of 4 days stars such as Santana, Ravi Shankar, John B Sebastian, Canned Heat, Grateful Dead, The Who, Janis Joplin, Sly & The Family Stone & of course Jimi Hendrix whose rendition of ‘the Star-Spangled Banner’, was controversially distorted and haunting as a protest against the war and to emulate the cries of human anguish.