Featuring nearly 20 hours of previously unheard audio
A sprawling and comprehensive box set containing 433 of the songs performed at the original Woodstock festival has been announced.
The original Woodstock was held in the Catskill Mountains in New York state between August 15–18 in 1969, and was famed as the pinnacle of ‘The Summer Of Love’ when more than 400,000 people flocked to see the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Santana, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Joan Baez and many more.
Now, to mark the festival’s 50th anniversary this summer, ‘Woodstock 50 – Back To The Garden: The Definitive Anniversary’ will be released on August and collect 432 tracks across 38 CDs, including 276 songs that were previously unreleased.
A statement describes the release as “a near complete reconstruction of Woodstock clocking in at 36 hours, with every artist performance from the festival in chronological order. Housed in a screen-printed plywood box with canvas insert inspired by the Woodstock stage set up, the set also includes a Blu-ray copy of the Woodstock film, a replica of the original program, a guitar strap, two Woodstock posters, a reprint of a diary written by an anonymous attendee during the festival, two 8×10 prints from legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz, and essays by Andy Zax, acclaimed music scribe Jesse Jarnow, and trailblazing rock critic Ellen Sander.
“The archive also contains a copy of Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (Reel Art Press), a comprehensive new hardbound book about the event written by Michael Lang, one of the festival’s co-creators.”
The full version is limited to a run of 1,969 copies and is a sizeable £629.99. 10 CD, 5 LP and 3 CD editions are also available. See the trailer below and visit here for more information.
The release features the full performances of the following artists:
Country Joe McDonald
John B. Sebastian
The Keef Hartley Band
The Incredible String Band
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Sly & The Family Stone
Country Joe & The Fish
Ten Years After
Blood, Sweat & Tears
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
The Butterfield Blues Band
Sha Na Na
Meanwhile, the upcoming celebration festival for Woodstock has recent found itself in turmoil. Woodstock 50 made headlines last month after its primary funding partner Dentsu Aegis Network withdrew its financial commitment and announced the “cancellation” of Woodstock 50.
Later, organisers issued a statement to deny it had been shelved. Michael Lang, the promoter of Woodstock 50 and one of the lead organisers of the 1969 event, also told The New York Times that Dentsu “do not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival.”
Now, Lang has reportedly sent a five-page letter to Dentsu accusing them of having “illegally swept approximately $17 million from the festival bank account”.
There had been lingering doubts about the festival in recent weeks, with ticket sales being postponed and The Black Keys deciding to pull out of their slot.
“I know The Raconteurs are playing before us, then there’s also Jay-Z and Dead And Co. They’ve kind of got all the bases covered,” The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers told NME.
Asked if he felt if ‘peace and love’ could prevail at such an event in 2019, Flowers replied: “I think that’s always a good message, it makes sense. Is that what people are trying to get across at this 50th anniversary? I don’t know. When they asked us to play, it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, are we going to keep the tradition alive?’
“I didn’t have to sign a waiver to deliver that message. They offered us a certain amount of money and we said yes. I don’t know what you want. It’s not 1969 any more, but we’re gonna do our best.”