Woodstock, the most famous music festival in rock 'n' roll history, took place August 15-18, 1969. It was marketed as "three days of peace and music" from 32 of the most iconic artists in American music history. It was the embodiment of the free spirit of the 1960s.
It was more than a music festival it was a cultural landmark for an entire generation. Despite the absurd amount of people that descended on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm near the town of White Lake, it was still a surprisingly peaceful event. That’s not to say there weren't any problems... it wasn't all peace, love, and rock and roll.
Woodstock was the brainchild of band manager Michael Lang and songwriter Artie Kornfeld. The initial goal was to hold an art and music festival over the course of three days, to raise enough money to build a recording studio in Woodstock. It was just a cash grab for them, they wanted to lure the hippies in with bands and make a bunch of money off them. What they created, however, took on a life of its own and became the most famous music festival in rock history. And they didn't make a dime. They were at least $1.3m in the hole debt and it took over a decade for the backers to recoup the losses.
Tickets pre-sold for $6.00 per day of the festival and were meant to sell for $24.00 at the ‘gate’ but there was no gate. There were far too many people, the fencing and ticket booths were never installed due to lack of funding, and they had no way to keep people out anyway. Eventually, all attempts to charge entry fees was abandoned. It became a free for all.