Left Menu
Development News Edition

CORRECTED-'Creating Woodstock': how festival came together, and almost fell apart

Reuters | New York | Updated: 16-08-2019 04:19 IST | Created: 16-08-2019 04:18 IST
CORRECTED-'Creating Woodstock': how festival came together, and almost fell apart
Image Credit: Flickr

Mick Richards was among the 450,000 people at Woodstock in 1969, but he did not think much about his "uneventful" 24 hours there until years later, when his teenage son started asking about the festival. That set Richards, a former rock drummer, on a 27-year journey of research, leading to the documentary "Creating Woodstock," now out on DVD and on demand.

Richards talked with Reuters about the film, which features hours of interviews, rare footage and tales about why the Grateful Dead wanted a do-over, how the stage nearly collapsed, and how Jimi Hendrix almost did not make it. The following are edited excerpts of the conversation:

Q: What are some of the myths about Woodstock that the film challenges? A: A lot of people thought Woodstock was a disaster, that it was completely unplanned and nobody knew what they were doing. Our film completely debunks that. The people who put the festival on were the finest production talent anywhere. They had it planned out to the finest detail, right down to church services on a Sunday morning... It got overrun and they did what they needed to do to make sure that everyone got taken care of and everyone had a good time.

Q: What most surprised you in your research? A: The organizers set the framework from the beginning for the festival to be peaceful. They named the passageways and the camp grounds, 'Groovy Way' and 'Happy Path.' They had baby animal zoos for kids.

Q: The film also shows how disasters were averted, including fears that the sound towers would fall during the thunderstorm and the mad dash to get payments to bands. A: Michael Wadleigh's 1970 documentary centered on the stage outward to the audience. Our film centers on the people who put it on. There are some books out there where you can find out about The Who not wanting to go on before getting paid in cash and (the producers) having to get the bank president out in the middle of the night. But the story of how Jimi Hendrix got to the festival? I don't think anyone's ever heard that until our film.

Q: Who do you hope will watch the film? A: Our film is not just for the baby boomers like myself. It really is something that the younger generations need to see. I think it's a good companion piece to everything else that is out there.

Q: Why has there been so much attention paid to the 50th anniversary of Woodstock? A: A lot of younger people are harkening back to that time period where you could put half a million people together in a field somewhere and the person next to you would share their food with you, or someone would talk you through a bad trip. I think a lot of people are looking to the 50th anniversary thinking they could relive a time when they were not even alive.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

Videos

Latest News

WHO advance team heads to China to set up probe into coronavirus origin

A two-member advance team of World Health Organization WHO experts has left for China to organize an investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus behind a pandemic that has killed more than 550,000 people globally, the U.N. agenc...

Atlantia ready to give up control of Autostrade as pressure builds -sources

Italian infrastructure group Atlantia is ready to give up control of its motorway operator Autostrade per lItalia to help resolve its long-running dispute with the government, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The group, contr...

Amazon.com says it sent the TikTok ban email to employees in error

Amazon.com Inc said it sent an email earlier on Friday that requested employees remove the TikTok app from mobile devices that also had access to company emails in error.A company spokeswoman said there has been no change in its policy on T...

US STOCKS-Wall St jumps with financials; Gilead data offsets virus fears

U.S. stocks rose on Friday as a positive analysis on Gilead Sciences Incs antiviral drug to treat COVID-19 helped to soothe investor worries over a record rise in coronavirus cases in the United States, and as financial shares surged. The N...

Give Feedback