The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was a three-day music festival, held at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in the Catskills near White Lake in Bethel, New York from Aug. 15 to 18, 1969. It has been widely regarded as a watershed moment in popular music history for several generations. However, the festival wouldn’t have even happened had it not been for the efforts of Woodstock Ventures, which was a company owned by John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, who together began organizing the huge gig less than four months before the event was set to take place.
So why did they choose Woodstock? Well, several reasons helped draw this massive number of people to Bethel: It was relatively accessible from Manhattan, yet it was far enough away that they could cut down on traffic. Plus, the site itself was inexpensive to rent, but still pristine enough to provide an aesthetically appealing backdrop for everything that would unfold over those three days.
Traffic for Days
With more than double the attendees than originally planned, traffic heading to Woodstock on Aug. 15, 1969, was atrocious. Radio announcements as far away as Manhattan, New York, of the terrible traffic jams were said to have discouraged even more people from attending. Pictured here: A man rests atop two trunks as he hopes traffic begins to clear. Spoiler alert: It wouldn’t.
A Packed House
The Woodstock Music Festival was held in Sullivan County, on dairy farmer Max Yasgur’s property, after initial permits for the festival to be held in Wallkill, New York, were revoked. He was paid $75,000.