Fifty years ago, more than 400,000 people descended on Bethel, New York, headed to a dairy farm owned by Max and Miriam Yasgur, where the Woodstock Music & Art Fair was being held. Planners had told the Yasgurs and town officials that they expected no more than 50,000 attendees, and were overwhelmed by the huge crowds. Over three days, 32 acts performed on stage, including Joan Baez, Santana, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Jimi Hendrix.Woodstock became a major cultural event, amplified by news coverage, a popular documentary film, and the music that became symbolic of an era. The festival was marked by a sense of community and harmony, despite the huge crowds, lack of basic amenities, and inclement weather. Many attendees shared food, water, and shelter, and helped one another. Woodstock became a symbol of the counterculture movement, which rejected traditional values and sought to create a new society based on peace, love, and equality. It inspired a generation to embrace social and political change, and left an indelible mark on American culture and music.
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