The Woodstock Music & Art Fair was a music festival on a dairy farm in New York from August 17 to the 18, 1969. Over the course of the rainy festival, 32 acts performed in front of almost half a million people. It is regarded as a pivotal moment in music history and the defining moment of the counterculture generation.
As a result of a last minute change in venue, the organizers were presented with the dilemma to either finish building the stage or build fencing and ticket booths. The organizers opted for completing the stage and the concert became a free event to the public.
The incoming army of hippies caused massive traffic jams in the rural upstate New York. Announcements had to be made discouraging people from going to the festival. Sullivan County declared a state of emergency and during the festival, personnel from the Steward Air Force Base assisted in helping ensure order and airlifting performers in and out of the venue.
Despite the festival’s enormous size, it was a very peaceful event. There were only two deaths, one as a result of a heroin overdose, and the second was caused in an accident in which a tractor ran over a sleeping attendee in a hayfield. There were also two recorded births at Woodstock.
In 20017, the festival site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.