- It wasn’t really held in Woodstock, New York. Instead its actual location was Bethel, New York, almost 60 miles from Woodstock.
- It was supposed to cost six dollars per day, (Approximately 38 dollars in 2019 value) but it ended up being largely free. (Bernie Sanders still says it was too expensive.)
- The promoters were expecting approximately anywhere from 50,000 to 150,000 attendees. They were short by approximately 250,000, or perhaps more.
- The song which celebrates the concert and event, Woodstock, was penned by Joni Mitchell, who didn’t even attend as a performer or as a guest. She wrote it from a hotel room in New York City.
- Many of the acts, particularly some of the most famous performers at that time, and of all time, did not appear in the subsequent album or movie, including Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Band, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Neil Young is heard, but is not seen, and refused to appear on film.
Despite all of these myths, misnomers, and misconceptions, Woodstock has lived on in our collective psyches as the culmination and fulfillment of the idealism of the 1960s. You could find the entire megillah that made up the 1960s at Woodstock including the concepts of peace, love, and dope. What was it about this three-day quagmire that still resonates with so many in our society, particularly those who attended. (And the millions more who have claimed to have been in attendance.) Was it the legendary lineup of bands and performers? Perhaps it was the rainy/muddy conditions? (It actually only rained on the last day.) Was it the fact that despite all of the shortages of toilets, facilities, food, and water, the townspeople as well as the throngs of young hippies and free-spirits exchanged nary a discouraging word, or engaged in any utterances of ill will, without I might also add, any kind of violence or conflict with the police, local authorities, or the army?
I don’t know how to speak to twenty people at one time, let alone a crowd like this. But I think you people have proven something to the world — not only to the Town of Bethel, or Sullivan County, or New York State; you’ve proven something to the world. This is the largest group of people ever assembled in one place. We have had no idea that there would be this size group, and because of that you’ve had quite a few inconveniences as far as water, food, and so forth. Your producers have done a mammoth job to see that you’re taken care of… they’d enjoy a vote of thanks. But above that, the important thing that you’ve proven to the world is that a half a million kids — and I call you kids because I have children that are older than you are — a half million young people can get together and have three days of fun and music and have nothing but fun and music, and I – God Bless You for it!”