4 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Woodstock Festival

Woodstock festival, held in 1969, is considered one of the most important music events in history. An estimated 500,000 people attended the festival, enjoying legendary performances from 32 music acts, including Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, and Jimmy Hendrix. Continue reading to find out some things you probably didn’t know about this iconic festival.

Woodstock Festival Didn’t Take Place in Woodstock

Despite the name, Woodstock didn’t actually take place in the town of Woodstock. After authorities denied organizers the permit, they ended up hosting the festival at a dairy farm in Bethel, New York, which was approximately an hour drive from Woodstock.

Richie Havens’s Epic Set Came Together By Accident

Folk singer/songwriter Richie Havens had the honor of being the opening act for Woodstock and ended up delivering an epic set that included Beatles covers and a new song that he improvised on stage. However, this wasn’t the original plan. Initially, it was rock band Sweetwater who was supposed to open the festival but got stuck in traffic. The organizers turned to Havens and convinced him to play for almost three hours because they didn’t have the next act ready.

“Only” 30,000 People Saw Jimi Hendrix Perform at Woodstock

Jimi Hendrix was considered Woodstock’s headliner and was slated to perform as the final act. Due to scheduling issues, his Sunday evening slot ended up being pushed to Monday morning. At that point, most of the 500,000 festivalgoers were already on their way home, with “only” 30,000 of them witnessing Hendrix’s performance.

Woodstock Left Its Organizers in Debt

Despite the large attendance, Woodstock actually left its organizers in debt. It is estimated that the event earned $1.8 million ($14.95 million in today’s money), while the costs came at $3.1 million ($25.75 million in today’s money). This was partially because most of those who attended didn’t actually pay for a ticket.

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