I attended the original concert in 1969, and started going back to the reunions on the original site in the early nineties.
This film explores the history of the concert and puts it into context with its times. Even forty years later, it still draws people to the original site in Bethel, N.Y.
I had just turned seventeen got excited as soon as I heard about it. I'd get to see practically every band I cared about, but like everyone else, I had no idea what I would soon experience.
The two acts I wanted to see the most was Iron Butterfly and Jimi Hendrix — in that order! I'd never even heard of Santana or Canned Heat or Johnny Winters.
The Butterfly's big song that summer was In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which was a stoned enunciation of what the song was supposed to be called, which was: "In the Garden of Eden."
The Iron Butterfly didn't play because their Management wouldn't let them go on until they got a check. Too bad, because they faded into obscurity because of it.
Hendrix played (who also insisted on getting paid, but he did). I stayed until the end and saw him, and if I'd missed everything else that one performance would have made the trip worthwhile.
Busy getting a career started and building a family, it took me twenty-five years to get back to Woodstock. I was quickly re-infected with the Woodstock Spirit and finally got around to filming and interviewing the people that still return to Yasgur's farm.
The many interesting and colorful people that journey back each year help explain the Woodstock Spirit as it exists now—and hopefully how it will be carried on in the future.
A Firsthand Account of Woodstock of the Festival