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Woodstock Essay, Research Paper


In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair drew more than 450,000

people to a pasture in Sullivan county. For four days, this site

became a “countercultural mini-nation” in which drugs were all

but legal, music was plenty, and love was free. The music began

Friday afternoon at 5:07 p.m. August 15, and continued until mid-

morning Monday August 18. The festival closed the New York State

Thruway and created one of the nation’s worst traffic jams. It

also inspired a bunch of local and state laws to ensure that

nothing like it would ever happen again.

Woodstock was the idea of four young men: John Roberts, Joel

Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld and Michael Lang. The oldest of the four

was 26. Their original odea was to have it in Wallkill, New York,

but the residents objected so greatly, that the site was then

taken to a farm about eight miles outside of Bethel, N.Y. ,

population 3,900. There was objections from this city as well,

but a permit had already been purchased to have a concert, so not

much could be done about it.

Although the conditions were terrible, (Lack of food, sparse

sanitation facilities, drugs and alcohol, mud, to name a few)

there were no violent acts at the festival.


Drugs were a problem at the festival, nearly ninety percent of

the people there were smoking marijuana. There were no violence

problems though. Approximately one hundred percent of the 33

people arrested were charged with drug-related charges.


Food shortage was a problem since so many people showed up who

the festival organizers wree not prepared for. Only 60,000

people were expected to attend, yet on the first day alone,

500,000 frankfurters and hamburgers were consumed. Constant

airlifts were being operated from the site and outlying areas,

bringing in a total of 1,300 pounds of canned food, sandwiches,

and fruit. In fact, the food problems were so great that the

Women’s Group of the Jewish Community Center of Monticello and

the Sisters of the Convent of St. Thomas prepared and distributed

30,000 sandwiches for the festival go-ers.

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