On this day in music history: August 15, 1969 – The “Woodstock Music & Art Fair” begins. Organized and promoted by Michael Lang, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman and Artie Kornfeld, the festival is originally scheduled to be held in Wallkill, NY, but town residents object to the event, and deny the promoters the necessary permit. Instead, the concert is moved to dairy farmer Max Yasgur’s property in Bethel, NY. The three day concert features thirty two acts over three days, including Richie Havens, Santana, Sly & The Family Stone, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, The Who, Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Jimi Hendrix. The concerts draw a crowd of over 500,000 people to the site. The event is documented in the Oscar winning film “Woodstock” (directed by filmmaker Michael Wadleigh), and the accompanying soundtrack album(s) that are released the following year. The event is regarded as a watershed moment not only in the history of rock & roll, but in pop culture.
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