This weekend marks 45 years since Woodstock took place at Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York.
There were 32 acts performing at the festival, including The Who, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Mountain, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Band, Joe Cocker, Ten Years After and Johnny Winter.
Here are 10 essential facts about those "three days of peace and music" (which stretched into four):
1-The festival was originally slated for Wallkill, New York, but that town balked at the last minute, prompting the promoters -- Michael Lang, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman and Artie Kornfeld -- to scramble to find another spot. They eventually settled on Yasgur's farm, which had a natural bowl-like amphitheater shape.
2-Tickets for the three-day festival cost $18 and 186,000 were sold before the weekend with authorities expecting 200,000 people to show up. When more than double than that arrived, the fences eventually came down, which is how it became a free show.
3-Despite the massive traffic jams, torrential downpours, mud and lack of food vendors and sanitary facilities, it was a peaceful gathering with only two deaths -- and two births.
4-In April 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival became the first act to sign a contract for the event, agreeing to play for $10,000. Once promoters secured John Fogerty and company, other big acts ended up signing on.
5-Richie Havens opened the festival at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 16th. Jimi Hendrix closed the festival, with the last notes of his guitar ringing out just a little after 11 a.m. on Monday, August 18th.
6-Santana were a relatively unknown band from San Francisco at the time and were booked as a favor to San Francisco promoter Bill Graham. Their fiery performance on Saturday raised the band's profile considerably. Carlos Santana remembers tripping on mescaline that day and says, "All I could remember is just landing, drinking a lot of water...and just praying to God to keep me in time and in tune.
7-Pete Townshend says Woodstock was "the single most important concert" of The Who's career. The Who were scheduled for the second day of the festival, Saturday, August 16th, but ended up going on at 4 a.m. on Sunday the 17th. They played Tommy in its entirety, and Townshend says that doing so helped put their first concept album back on the charts. Radical Abbie Hoffman's jumped on stage during the band's set to rant about fellow radical John Sinclair's being jailed for marijuana possession. Townshend didn't like that and knocked Hoffman down with his guitar.
8-Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, in only their second show, took the stage at three in the morning on Monday, August 18th. Woodstock was also the first show in which CSN was joined by Neil Young. He played on two songs during their acoustic set and was out for the electric set, but refused to be filmed for the movie.
9-Two different albums were released from the festival -- the triple album Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More in May 1970 and the double album Woodstock 2 in 1971. The first soundtrack spent four weeks at number-one on the album charts in July and August of 1970.
10-The film Woodstock, released in March 1970, won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. One of the editors on the film ended up having a pretty good directing career -- Martin Scorcese.
Not an essential fact, but I wrote a college term paper on the festival, and got an A-. It really deserved an A, but the professor and I didn't see eye-to-eye.