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c. 1969

Woodstock Style

What happens when half a million people descend on a dairy farm in the name of Rock and Roll?

Kids on the grass near the free stage at Woodstock 1969

So,  you’ve bagged yourself a ticket to Woodstock—as in, only one of the 50 defining moments in all Rock and Roll, according to Rolling Stone magazine—but you’ve looked inside your wardrobe (aka your bedroom floor) and you’ve simply nothing to wear. For a large minority of the festival attendees, not only was this not-a-problem, it was an active sartorial choice.

When the festival organizers—a group of four promoters and entrepreneurs from NYC—started selling tickets to the event, which ran from August 15th-18th, 1969, they were delighted to shift around 186,000 in advance sales.

All in all, including predicted walk-up, they figured they might see something like 200k total festival goers on site—with or without clothing. That number was (just about) manageable, and would have seen the four walk away with a handsome profit—just so long as they could get the fencing and ticket booths in place before the start.

Only they couldn’t. And then everything exploded. Almost half a million people descended on the site—a dairy farm.

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The hordes paid no heed to the few ticketing booths, and simply strode in through holes in the fences. 

Fearing riots, the organizers had no choice but to declare the event a free festival—and started to face up to the fact they were about to go bankrupt.

Only they didn’t. The film of the festival, released the following year, made them an absolute fortune.

This set of pictures shows some of the stylistic highlights to be seen amongst the half-a-million strong audience.

But here’s a sobering thought. Everyone looks like they are aged somewhere between 20 and 30, right? They are, therefore, now aged somewhere between 70 and 80.

Not sobering enough for you? In 2017, the Woodstock festival site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1969
John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images
1969
Getty Images
1969
Bill Eppridge / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images
1969
Bill Eppridge / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images
1969
Bill Eppridge / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images
1969
Bill Eppridge / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images
1969
Bill Eppridge / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images
1969
Bill Eppridge / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images
1969
Bill Eppridge / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images
1969
Bill Eppridge / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images / Getty Images

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