Woodstock Pictures That Make You Feel Like You Were There

Jul 29, 2020Shilo Maloney

When you think about the Woodstock music festival that took place in Bethel, New York, you'd be excused to think it was an annual music festival. But, this wasn't the case at all. Woodstock was what you would clinically define as a 'once in a lifetime experience' that changed lives some 50 years ago. And when you see some of the images, you'll see why there isn't a festival in site that matches the magnitude of that festival in 1969.

The Story of Woodstock

Image Credit: Getty Images/Bill Eppridge

Held in 1969, it is regarded as a watershed moment. An event in time that birth what many know as the counterculture movement that took over in the 1970s. Woodstock was the eye-opener that affected and changed the world of music and rock n roll in an era of peace and free-thinking. Initially billed as “An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music,” the name would later change to Woodstock, which became synonymous with the counterculture movement that was in motion.

The Birth Of Counterculture

Image Credit: Getty Images/Manchester Daily Express

The counterculture of the 1960s was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed throughout much of the Western world between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s. The counterculture was a revolution that was sparked by the growing Civil Rights protests. Not only that, but it was also a movement that addressed other social tensions regarding human life preferences, women's rights, experimentation with substances, and differing interpretations of the 'American Dream.' Woodstock was the assembly of like-minded beings coming together to form a force to address the established oppressive laws in western countries.

The Birth Of Woodstock

Image Credit: Getty Images/Ralph Ackerman

The festival was the creation of four men, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld, and Michael Lang. Lang had organized the successful Miami Music Festival in 1968, and Kornfeld was the youngest vice president at Capitol Records. Roberts and Rosenman were New York entrepreneurs involved in building a Manhattan recording studio. The four men formed Woodstock Ventures, Inc., and decided to host a music festival that changed the course of the world.

The Music Fest Phenomenon

Image Credit: Getty Images/Howard Arnold Collection

Though several developments could've hindered the success of Woodstock, such as last-minute venue changes, bad weather, and the hordes of attendees, the festival was attended by half a million people who waited on a dairy farm which is now considered sacred ground from an essential and peaceful festival that inspired many others that would follow throughout history.

Fifty Years Since The Festival

Image Credit: Getty Images/Bill Eppridge

That was a once in a lifetime extravaganza that couldn't possibly be duplicated because of its timing and its influence. The only things that we have that truly and adequately shows us what it was like over the three days are transporting pictures that put us right where the event took place. So, naturally, we found the best pictures that show exactly what that experience was like over 50 years ago.

Crowd Surf

Image Credit: Getty Images/Time & Life Pictures

Everybody has dreamed about the feeling of a crowd surf, but very few have experienced one of this magnitude. Consider the one here as a metaphor for the entire essence of the festival and the subsequent movements that it inspired. The spirit of uplifting, supporting, and peace, themes which echoed throughout the people who attended the iconic festival. 

The Queue For Food

Image Credit: Getty Images/John Dominis

The mass appeal of food at festivals is what truly distinguishes it from anything else. This image here truly showcases how the center of the entire fest had hoards of hungry hippies lining up to be fed. In order for half a million people to eat, however, it took budgets and a mass number of donations to cater to each body that walked the festival.

A Circus Too

Image Credit: Getty Images/Ralph Ackerman

There were no limits to the level of inclusion when it came to this astounding and legendary watershed moment. It was so important and so infectious that even animals such as this monkey had to join in on the fun of the festivities that mad history.

Little Red Four Wheeler

Image Credit: Getty Images/Ralph Ackerman

This was a music festival that was chockfull of freedom. Another case for this claim is this group of friends cruising past a crowd on a little red four-wheeler. There's nothing to tell us that these were rented out at the location, so it seems this group of hippies considered how they were going to get around from one spot to the next over the massive sacred farm.

Michael On A Motorcycle

Image Credit: Getty Images/Ralph Ackerman

This is one-quarter of the festival's organizers, Michael Lang, riding freely on the farm on a motorcycle. It's fairly safe to say that his mode of transportation was a far simpler and arguably cooler way to get around than the red four-wheeler, but certainly better than walking the acres of space that the event was hosted on.

The Night Caps

Image Credit: Getty Images/Ralph Ackerman

The performances of the festival weren't restricted to be purely on the mainstage. The music also didn't stop when the sun went down; it carried on in the quieter campsites that were sprawled around the land, even during the night. This image shows that acoustics and voices were enough for some of the attendees, and this image shows the joy through simplicity. All music was music there and then, and that was the glorious charm of the entire event.

Sunset In Woodstock

Image Credit: Getty Images/Owen Franken - Corbis

This image captures the festival in all its unique majesty. The glowing red sky that sets into the night that silhouettes some festival attendees is something that feels out of a film or a magazine. On the top of the tower, a group's glaring at the sun that sets on Woodstock in a picturesque light that no other location could've afforded to see. There's nothing quite like a sight like this--fitting for an event that is like nothing else in history.

The Water of Woodstock

Image Credit: Getty Image/Bill Eppridge

There are hundreds of photos from Woodstock that show how life was like over the course of those three days, and many of them will show you the happiness in the face of those famous revolutionary hippies. This picture works as a truly immersive image that shows you the effect the waterfalls had at the festival. You can just see the unbridled joy that this attendee is feeling under the refreshing water.

Setting Up Camp

Image Credit: Getty Images/Ralph Ackerman

If you've ever been to any music festival, the most essential thing to do is set up your camp with the people that you came to the venue with. The image here shows one of the most stressful and equally funny aspects of setting up camp before you go out and gallivant.

The Hoards Of Hippies

Image Credit: Getty Images/Newsday LLC

Even if you're claustrophobic, this image speaks volumes about what the event entailed when discussing its scale. Half a million bodies came to Bethel to see history happen in real-time at an unprecedented level for the sake of celebrating peace, music and to reset culture in the most transformative and transcended ways. Ways that have undeniably formed their own culture after 50 years of Woodstock's inception into the world.

There are hundreds of other compelling and complete images that paint the picture of Woodstock in 1969. Very few festivals have come that executed Woodstock's timing and importance in history quite like this one, and that's for historic reasons that will live long and prosper in the culture.

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