17 pictures that prove Woodstock was far crazier than any modern music festival
The crowd, the mud, the traffic and the debris was truly staggering — and beautifully captured.
Top image: The Everett Collection
With their cellphone charging stations, VIP areas, corporate sponsors, gourmet burger stalls, hi-def video screens, airport-level security, massage tents and detailed maps, modern music festivals are practically luxury resorts compared to the anything-goes rock extravaganzas of the 1960s. No concert looms larger in the memory and mythology of American pop culture than Woodstock. And of course we are talking about the 1969 original, not the regretable '94 iteration.
From August 15 to 17, 1969, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the small hamlet of Bethel, New York, for the great gathering of musical gods. It was a moment when the counterculture shed off its "counter" and became pop culture. With today's festival industry operating megaconcerts on a weekly basis, it's easy to forget just how unique and untamed Woodstock truly was.
Thankfully, there are pictures. These photos capture the debris, the traffic jams, the temporary hay housing, the mud, the medical supply drops, the unwashed masses. There will never be anything like this again. Were you there?