Half a million people showed up on a dairy farm on August 15th, 1969 for what was marketed as “An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music” and what is also known as the now famed Woodstock Music Festival. It was bigger than anyone could have imagined and was riddled with issues from last-minute venue changes to heavy drug use, open sex, lack of food and proper sanitation, rain and muddy grounds. But for concert-goers and “hippies”, Woodstock became not only the most epic outdoor music event in history, but a movement. By the way, organizers originally expected 50,000.
By the end of the festival on August 18th, a whopping thirty-two acts had performed at Woodstock including Jimi Hendrix (who was the last musician to take to the stage), Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Santana and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. While we’ve learned no official Woodstock revival concert on the original grounds are happening, that won’t stop us from celebrating! If you’re looking for ways to celebrate in Toronto (or close to), here are a few ways to bring back “some” of those memories.
Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. July 27. Leading up to the Woodstock weekend be the first to see this new concert documentary on the iconic music festival, told by the fans who were in the crowds.
WOODSTOCK REVISITED – Film weekend: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, August 16th to 18th. A special film weekend of exhilarating music docs inspired by the epic rock festival! The cinema will transform into a riotous celebration of music, performance, film and expression as it pays tribute to some of rock’s most influential artists—Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, David Crosby, The Grateful Dead, and more —through a host of award-winning and critically acclaimed concert docs. The three day film celebration includes screenings of My Generation (Opening Night Film), David Crosby: Remember My Name, Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock and more. Full schedule of films can be found at www.hotdocs.ca
Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary Ken Heyman Photo Exhibition: Brian Liss Gallery, 112 Cumberland Street.
Ken Heyman has done photographic assignments for many magazines, including Life. He has worked for the U.S. Information Agency, photographing Alliance for Progress projects in Latin America, and for several photographic agencies, including Rapho Guillumette Agency and Magnum. Shows of Mr. Heyman’s work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art (1963), the Hallmark Gallery (1965), The International Center for Photography in New York City (1976), The Zabriskie Gallery in Paris (1995). Ken Heyman’s work has brought him a number of awards including “The World Understanding award,” considered to be one of the top awards in photography. It is given “to honor the photographer whose work has contributed most to a better understanding among the world’s people.” Check www.lissgallery.com for updates.
Woodstock Weekend: 50th Anniversary Tribute Event: Canadian National Exhibition. August 17.
On August 17, catch Krista Blondin Music’s tribute to Janis Joplin, GREEN RIVER REVIVAL’s covering Creedence Clearwater, and The Live Last Waltz recreating The Band’s final performance. On August 18, Abraxas The Santana Tribute will be performing along with Mars Hotel’s iconic Grateful Dead tribute and Mad Dogs and Englishmen celebrating the music of the great Joe Cocker and Leon Russell.
Woodstock: 50 Years Later: Blue Mountain Village, August 14.
Meaford’s finest musicians relive the moments that made Woodstock the most iconic music festival of our time. Spend the night revisiting music performed by artists like Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, CCR, The Who, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and many more! www.bluemountainvillage.ca