With a dream line-up of folk, rock, soul and blues artists (Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Who, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and many others), the Woodstock festival of August 1969 becomes the greatest emblematic gathering of hippie culture ever. The organizers expected 50’000 people; half a million showed up…
The organizers are overwhelmed by the crowd, and the infrastructure is insufficient. US Army helicopters will come as back-up to bring in food, water, medicine and… the performers who are stuck in traffic jams! Originally foreseen over three days, the festival will ultimately end at dawn on the fourth day, Monday August 18th, with Jimi Hendrix performing for the 30’000 people remaining.
Many of the songs played at Woodstock will become legendary, such as Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” with a guitar solo in which he evokes the B-52 bombardments during the Vietnam War, Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” with an epic drum solo by 20 year old Michael Shrieve, one of the youngest musicians of the festival, Joe Cocker’s cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends”, The Who’s “Tommy” and “Freedom” sung by Rickie Havens.