The 1969 Woodstock Music Fair was a peaceful 3-day musical exposition. With an estimated 500,000 attendees, the free concert made its mark in pop culture history as numerous now-iconic artists graced the music festival with their presence, including The Who, Janis Joplin, Santana, and Jimi Hendrix.
As their charter plane flew to the wrong airport, Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young had no other choice but to hotwire a stolen truck with Melvin Belli to go to their iconic 1969 Woodstock gig. Jimi Hendrix’s performance at Woodstock boosted his rising fame and contributed to his musical legacy.
The 1969 Woodstock Music Festival
Publicized as An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music, the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival was an unforgettable moment in pop culture history. It began on August 15, 1969, with half a million attendees enjoying the 3-day exposition on a farm in Bethel, New York. As legendary as the music festival was, it was no exception to facing hitches.
Planned by John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfield, and Michael Lang, they initially wanted the Howard Mills Industrial Park in Wallkill, New York, to host Woodstock. The town officials of Wallkill became unnerved and soon passed a law that denied the possibility of holding any concert on their grounds.
A month before the concert, 49-year-old dairy farmer Max Yasgur offered to rent part of his land in Bethel for the event. The four men complied, and due to the lack of preparation in fencing, gates, and ticket booths, Roberts and his partners made Woodstock a free event.
With only 50,000 people expected to come, many were surprised as an estimated 1,000,000 people traveled down to Woodstock. Half a million people arrived at the venue, some abandoning their cars to walk to the concert.
Woodstock was highly appealing as the country was deep into the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. The music festival was an opportunity to escape and temporarily live soundly in unity and music. Thirty-two musicians graced the stage of Woodstock, with legendary Jimi Hendrix ending the event on Monday morning, August 18. (Source: History)
The Ventures of Hendrix and Young
The performance of Jimi Hendrix was iconic, further boosting his fame. Despite being the most anticipated artist to perform, Hendrix still faced delays, playing for Woodstock on the morning of August 18.
In a radio interview program entitled On the Record, Neil Young remembers the ventures he went through, alongside Jimi Hendrix, to perform at the Woodstock Fair.
Young begins the story, stating that their charter plane flew into the wrong airport, and they supposedly had no transportation to the venue as the roads were jammed and nobody was at the airport. Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, and attorney Melvin Belli were stumped.
To their surprise, Melvin Belli steals a pick-up truck parked at the airport, and Young and Hendrix hotwire the vehicle to start. Not long after, they were on their way to Woodstock, where Hendrix played his timeless setlist, adding an encore of his first hit song, Hey Joe. (Source: Far Out Magazine)