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17 Insane True Things That Happened at Woodstock

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Two things happened in 1969: The Moon landing and the Woodstock Festival. The famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair was the highlight of the 60s and a great testament to a people’s desire for fun, peace, and a little rebellion.

The concert brought together about half a million attendees for a three-day music and dance festival on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Interesting things are bound to happen in such a phenomenon, and here are some insane fun facts about the Woodstock Festival.

1. Woodstock Refused to Host It

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Despite the name, the festival didn’t occur in Woodstock, NY. Although they initially approved the festival, residents strongly opposed the event. Subsequently, town officials refused to issue the required permit, citing a lack of resources to accommodate a crowd of 50,000 people. The event was moved to Bethel instead.

2. About 500,000 People Attended

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We said that already, but having over half a million people in one concert is no small feat, as the organizers found out. The logistics became a nightmare that lead to a plethora of issues we’ll discover further within this post.

3. Amateurs Organized It

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The concert of the century was organized by four inexperienced agents with a desire to make a profit. Additionally, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld, and Michael Lang were all under the age of 27. Talk about a better than expected turnout.

4. It Ended Up Being Free

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Advance tickets were going for $6 and $24, but too many people expressed interest in attending, and the organizers eventually made it a free gig since they couldn’t figure out an efficient way to collect money.

5. Fans Tore the Fence Down

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When the ticketless people showed up, they tore down the fence erected to keep them out and entered the concert grounds. People traveling from across the nation weren’t ready to take no for an answer to attend this historically epic event.

6. A 17 Mile Long Traffic Jam

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A traffic jam would be expected with hundreds of people attending and most driving. The revelers were stuck in a 17-mile-long traffic jam to access the grounds, and they waited with patience (mostly).

7. 32 Artists Performed

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The event was graced by some of the best artists of that time, and 32 of them performed in the three-day concert. Big names included Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Sweetwater, The Grateful Dead, and Creedence Clearwater Revival- among many, many more.

8. It Rained Incessantly

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Rain on a parade is an idiom coined in the 60s, but at Woodstock, the rain was literal. Despite the heavy rain on the second day, the outdoor event went on, and nothing could drench the spirit of the merrymakers.

9. One Singer was Almost Electrocuted

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The heavy downpour was so heavy that his electric guitar almost electrocuted one of the artists. He was thrown several feet into the air but survived.

10. Hungry People Became Angry

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Feeding a cloud as huge as the one that showed up at the Woodstock Festival is daunting, and the vendors weren’t having it easy. As demand soared, prices rose, and Hamburgers that were previously $.25 hiked to $1, and the people didn’t like it. One concession stand was burnt down in frustration.

11. Locals Fed the Crowd

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In a show of love, locals fed the crowd when news of the food shortage was announced (thank goodness for the hippies of the 60s). Thousands of sandwiches found their way into the grounds and into people’s hungry bellies.

12. One Toilet for every 700 People   

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The last-minute surge in attendees presented one of many problems—there weren’t enough toilets. Only about 600 toilets were serving a population of 500,000 adults.

13. People Peed on The Spot

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The lack of enough sanitation and the huge crowd made it almost impossible to go to the bathroom. Consequently, people would just pee on the spot and continue grooving.

14. There Were Drugs (And People Were Warned)

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A crowd that huge is bound to have a few people who want to add illegal substances to the mix (especially in the 60s), and this was no exception. The people were warned that drugs were circulating and advised to stay away from them.

15. Someone OD’d (Allegedly)

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In an unfortunate turn of events, one person allegedly overdosed on the drugs that were reportedly in circulation at the fair. In an era of drugs, the fact that only one person passed is quite impressive.

16. A Freak Tractor Accident

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Partying for three days straight is bound to be exhausting. One person decided to rest in the field and was reportedly run over by a tractor.

17. No Reported Violence

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What are the chances that hundreds of thousands of young people gather at a concert without violence? The odds are slimmer than guitar strings, but the Woodstock Festival did it. The concert was a rally of peace led by young people tired of the status quo.

Woodstock Festival was a unique phenomenon. Five years ago, attempts were made to have a sequel, but they failed spectacularly.

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