NME.COM

Woodstock - 40 years on

  • Woodstock Festival took place 40 years ago this month. To mark the anniversary of the legendary event - which saw performances from the likes of Jimi Hendrix (pictured) - east London's Idea Generation gallery is running a Woodstock exhibition, which you can see from now until the end of August. Pic: Dan Garson, courtesy of Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Joe Cocker played at the first ever Woodstock Festival during the summer of 1969 (August 17) in Bethel, New York. His set was delayed for several hours due to thunderstorms, but once onstage he performed 'Dear Landlord', 'Something Comin' On' and 'Let's Get Stoned' before ending on The Beatles' 'With A Little Help From My Friends'. Pic: Dan Garson, courtesy Genesis Publications. 'Woodstock Experience' is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Over 400,000 gathered for Woodstock Festival in 1969, to watch 39 acts. The event was immortalised in the Oscar-winning documentary 'Woodstock', as well as a Joni Mitchell song of the same name, which she wrote despite not having attended the festival. Pic: Dan Garson, courtesy of Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Three or four days before Woodstock even opened its gates, crowds began to congregate in the alfalfa field, just outside Bethel Woods. Pic: Dan Garson, courtesy of Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Contrary to the historical cliche, Woodstock was far from a hazy wonderland of peace and love. Mud and overcrowding meant conditions were appalling. Four women miscarried. One camper was crushed to death in his sleep when a tractor ran over his sleeping bag. Pic: Dan Garson, courtesy of Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Bikers were a common sight at Woodstock. Elliot Tiber, co-founder of the event explains: "The atmosphere was one big party. There were no killings, no fights. The 'dykes on bikes', a lesbian leather motorcycle club from New Jersey even volunteered to act as security." Pic: Dan Garson, courtesy of Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • By contrast with today's tightly regimented festivals, Woodstock's running order was all over the place. The Who, for example, took to the stage at 4am. Pic: Dan Garson, courtesy of Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Bands who were invited to play at Woodstock but turned it down include Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Byrds and Jethro Tull. Pic: Dan Garson, courtesy of Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • The festival was marred by heavy thunderstorms, especially on the Sunday, when a torrential downpour after Joe Cocker's set caused live performances to be suspended for several hours. Pic: Dan Garson, courtesy of Genesis Publications. 'Woodstock Experience' is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Janis Joplin's set was well-received - "she seemed to exude tremendous pleasure at being there and being onstage, and I think that really resonated strongly with the audience" says Michael Lang - but tragedy was not far away: she died of a heroin overdose just over a year later. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy of Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Woodstock was a family-friendly festival, and many parents arrived with their children. One mother even went into labour while at the festival, but luckily enough her baby was delivered in a nearby hospital. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Pictures from this gallery have been taken from 'Woodstock Experience', published to mark the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. You can pick up your own copy over at genesis-publications.co.uk. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy of Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • The site for the festival was located in Bethel, New York. The small town, with an approximate population of 4,500, has since become a site of pilgrimage for hippies and tourists alike. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy of Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • A key member of the festival's technical crew was EH Beresford Monck – aka 'Chipmonck'. He was once compared to "a Hershey bar,  melted down and poured into your ear" by peace activist Wavy Gravy, which we believe was a compliment. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young's time onstage (August 17, 1969) included separate acoustic and electric sets. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk, photographs from the book are being shown at Idea Generation Gallery until August 30.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • The BBC may have sent 324 reporters to cover Glastonbury this year, but at Woodstock there was only a single journalist across the entire site: Barnard Collier, of The New York Times. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Many people lived out of their vehicles instead of camping at Woodstock. John Sebastian (of The Lovin' Spoonful) had lived in a Volkswagen bus for over a year. He explains how easy it was: "You put a cardboard box at the back and just write 'Put your shoes in here'". Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy of Genesis Publications.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • The iconic Woodstock logo had a motif of a dove on the front. This would later become the inspiration for the 'Peanuts' character of the same name; creator Charles L. Schulz confirmed he named Woodstock in 1970, just after the festival.
    Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • After being introduced onstage as 'The Jimi Hendrix Experience', Hendrix quickly corrected the new band's name to 'Gypsy Sun and Rainbows'. During the set, which took place on the last day of Woodstock (August 17), Jimi's high E-string broke while playing 'Red House', but this didn't stop the show, and he continued on with just five strings. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Despite town officials being assured that no more than 5,000 people would attend, it is estimated that around 400,000 people attended the first Woodstock in 1969. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Attempts to revive Woodstock have generally been disastrous. One of these attempts, in 1999, was marred by frat-boy violence, with rock acts such as Limp Bizkit and Rage Against The Machine bringing out the worst in festival-goers. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Much to the delight of the Woodstock crowd, The Who kicked off a 25-song set with 'Heaven And Hell'. Roger Daltrey and co also played favourites like 'I Can't Explain', 'Pinball Wizard', 'We're Not Gonna Take It' and 'My Generation' on Saturday, August 16, 1969. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • The Who's set started at the unusual time of 4am. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Woodstock was initiated through the efforts of Michael Lang, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, and Artie Kornfeld. Until January 1969, Michael had been doubtful there would be anywhere in Woodstock big enough to hold this event - until they found the Shaler property, which was perfect and renting for a fee of $5,000. Pic: Henry Diltz, courtesy Genesis Publications. Woodstock Experience is available from www.genesis-publications.co.uk

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009

  • Pictures from this gallery have been taken from the newly published 'Woodstock Experience' (Genesis Publications), which has been created to celebrate 40 years of Woodstock history. You can pick up your own copy over at genesis-publications.co.uk now. Photographs from the book are shown at Idea Generation Gallery until August 30.

    Photo:

    Added: 05 Aug 2009