(CREDIT: JIM MARSHALL)
August 15th, 1969, over 400,000 hedonistic music lovers rocked up to a dairy farm in Bethel, New York for the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair — now widley considered as one of the defining events in music history.
Billed as “An Aquarium Experience: 3 days of peace and music”, the event was a culmination of the changes in culture from across the 1960’s, from music, literature and fashion, to attitudes towards sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.
For just £15 a ticket, guests had the chance to see now-legendary acts including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. But, after festival goers turned up in their hundreds and thousands (they were initially only expecting around 50,000), the organisers decided to waive the fee and make the event free of charge, allowing half a million people to demonstrate that peace and love truly was possible.
Many of the sets have since gone on to not only become iconic moments in those artists’ respective careers, but also representative snapshots of America’s counterculture movement during that time. To celebrate its 51st Anniversary, here’s a look back at some of the performances that earned their hallowed place in pop culture history.