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Since the late change in venue occurred, festival organizers didn't have enough time to prepare the site. Three days before the event, organizers laid out two options:

1) complete the fencing and ticket booths, without which the promoters were almost certain to lose their every cent.

2) Put their remaining available resources into building the stage. When the audience began arriving by the tens of thousands, the next day (a week before the actual date of the event), the decision had been made for them. Free it would be.

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The influx of attendees was massive and the resulting traffic jam lead people to abandon their cars and walk into the event. Announcements on radio stations as far away as WNEW-FM in Manhattan and descriptions of the traffic jams on television news discouraged people from setting off to the festival and even Arlo Guthrie made an announcement that the New York State Thruway was closed.

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The legacy of the event was about to be set in stone; large crowds, rains, muddy roads and fields. What was supposed to be no more than 50,000 people turned into over 400,000 over the event and they would soon find themselves struggling against the weather, food shortages, and poor sanitation.

 

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Joe Cocker and His Band Playing at Woodstock, NY, 1969

 

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Artist Pay Rates:

 

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Friday Aug.15th Setlist

 

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Saturday Aug. 16th Setlist

 

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Sunday Aug. 17th Setlist

 

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Almost Played But Didn't Make It


 

After the Woodstock Festival:

The organizers of Woodstock were dazed at the end of the Woodstock Festival. They didn't have time to focus on the fact that they had created the most popular music event in history, for they first had to deal with their incredible debt (over $1 million) and the 70 lawsuits that had been filed against them. 

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    To their great relief, the film of the Woodstock Festival turned into a hit movie and the profits from the movie covered a large chunk of the debt from the Festival. By the time that everything was paid off, they were still $100,000 in debt.

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