7:15 pm | R | 3h 4min | Documentary, History, Music

In 1969, 500,000 people descended on a small patch of field in a little-known town in upstate New York called Woodstock. In this documentary, the iconic event is chronicled in unflinching detail, from the event’s inception all the way through to the unexpected air-delivery of food and medical supplies by the National Guard. The film contains performances, interviews with the artists and candid footage of the fans in a defining portrait of 1960s America.

“Woodstock” features history-making performances by many of the icons of rock – several of whom were Ulster County residents at the time. Among the legends that took the stage over the three-day phenomenon: Richie Havens; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Canned Heat; Joan Baez; The Who; Country Joe and the Fish; Arlo Guthrie; Ten Years After; John Sebastian; Santana; Janis Joplin; Sly and the Family Stone; and a staggering finale by guitar hero Jimi Hendrix.

Whether you had a front seat on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy field and were blasted awake by Jefferson Airplane’s morning maniac music, or were stranded in your car all weekend on the New York State thruway; whether you were a Bethel resident whose front lawn was trampled by tie-dyed pilgrims or a flower child momentarily wilted by the brown acid; whether true believer or still-irate detractor; whether you saw it as the beginning or end of an era, you have finally come to realize that the Woodstock Music & Art Fair was far more than the sum of its freakishly beautiful parts. Billed as “3 Days of Peace & Music” and an “Aquarian Exposition,” the seismic eruption eventually became known simply and universally as “Woodstock.” It has become a bona fide political and cultural moment in world history.

Woodstock is a 1970 documentary film of the watershed counterculture Woodstock Festival which took place in August 1969 near Bethel, New York in Sullivan County. Entertainment Weekly called this film the benchmark of concert movies and one of the most entertaining documentaries ever made. Seven editors are credited, including Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese, and director Michael Wadleigh. Woodstock features dazzling multi-screen effects that was an innovation at the time. Despite its taboo-breaking content, the film was a great commercial and critical success. It received the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

The 1970 theatrical release of the film ran 185 minutes. A director’s cut spanning 224 minutes was released in 1994. Both cuts take liberties with the timeline of the festival. However, the opening and closing acts are the same in the film as they appeared on stage; Richie Havens opens the show and Jimi Hendrix closes it.

The curators of the Music Fan Film Series invite you to see these films on a big screen, with big sound, surrounded by people who love music just as much as you do.

Artists by appearance
No. Group / Singers Title
1.* Crosby, Stills & Nash “Long Time Gone”
2.* Canned Heat “Going Up the Country”
3.* Crosby, Stills & Nash “Wooden Ships”
4. Richie Havens “Handsome Johnny”
5. “Freedom” / “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”
6. Canned Heat “A Change Is Gonna Come” **
7. Joan Baez “Joe Hill”
8. “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”
9. The Who “We’re Not Gonna Take It” / “See Me, Feel Me”
10. “Summertime Blues”
11. Sha-Na-Na “At the Hop”
12. Joe Cocker and the Grease Band “With a Little Help from My Friends”
13. Audience “Crowd Rain Chant”
14. Country Joe and the Fish “Rock and Soul Music”
15. Arlo Guthrie “Coming Into Los Angeles”
16. Crosby, Stills & Nash “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”
17. Ten Years After “I’m Going Home”
18. Jefferson Airplane “Saturday Afternoon” / “Won’t You Try” **
19. “Uncle Sam’s Blues” **
20. John Sebastian “Younger Generation”
21. Country Joe McDonald “FISH Cheer / Feel-Like-I’m-Fixing-to-Die-Rag”
22. Santana “Soul Sacrifice”
23. Sly and the Family Stone “Dance to the Music” / “I Want to Take You Higher”
24. Janis Joplin “Work Me, Lord” **
25. Jimi Hendrix “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” (credited as “Voodoo Chile” in the film) **
26. “The Star-Spangled Banner”
27. “Purple Haze”
28. “Woodstock Improvisation” **
29. “Villanova Junction”
30.* Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young “Woodstock” / “Find the Cost of Freedom” **
* studio recording from an album by the artist
** director’s cut only, not in the original theatrical release