The Museum at Bethel Woods, at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair in Bethel, New York, places that historic event within the context of the entire decade of the 1960s. Peace, love, music, protest, change, freedom, optimism, division, achievement — The Sixties.
Baron Wolman's iconic shot of the signs in the woods evoke much of the Woodstock spirit.
What made the Woodstock festival unique, aside from the mud, traffic, and the size of the crowd, was that it was held in the country, not at a facility or stadium or race track.
Wolman had just taken a series of photos of Bill Graham, when Graham said, "now let me take one of you." This photo is one of Wolman's most cherished keepsakes of the Woodstock festival.
There was a different vibe in the woods, where you could get away from the crowd and the noise and just hang out.
By the end of the festival, there was mud and trash everywhere. It took months to fully clean up the site and the surrounding area.
"Gentlemen, please come down off those towers."
At the time of the festival, this was the largest concert audience in history, but the attention Woodstock received soon spawned other festivals with larger audiences.
Not all the action was happening on the hill. Vehicles and people spread out over an incredibly large area stretching for miles.
Skinnydipping was a family activity at Woodstock.
City kids tried their hands at farm chores, often without much luck (and without the farmer's permission).
Ten miles away from the festival, and traffic was so bad that people simply abandoned their vehicles along the road.
Creative hitchhiking on SR17-B.
The locals didn't know what to think about all these long-haired kids. They soon found out that the kids were well-behaved and polite.
For some it was simply easier to walk.
The Hog Farm commune set up a free kitchen to feed festival attendees when the Food For Love tents ran out of food.
The festival was filmed and released as a 4-hour documentary the following year. It won the Oscar for Best Documentary, despite the R rating it received because of nudity, language, and drug use.