Knockout Images from the Original Woodstock Festival

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August 15 marks the 50th anniversary of the first day of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, an “Aquarian Exposition” promising “3 Days of Peace & Music,” and delivering not only that, but the definitive gathering of the hippie generation – 32 acts performing for half a million young adults, with not a single incident of violence or unrest. Subsequent attempts to repeat the feat, from Altamont to the Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival to Woodstock’s own 30th anniversary gathering, were notorious boondoggles, which may be whey the original has, if anything, seen its reputation bolstered by the passing years.

To mark this half-century commemoration, Reel Art Press is releasing Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music, a new, official, coffee-table book celebrating the festival, created with the participation of festival co-creator and co-founder Michael Lang (if you’ve seen the documentary, he’s the soften-spoken fellow in the vest, on the motorcycle). Lang opened up his archives, providing original notes, designs, set lists, and more; that ephemera is complemented by photographs of the event’s construction, preparation, performances, and destruction. Check ’em out:

(Henry Diltz, via Reel Art Press)

(Dan Garson, via Reel Art Press)

(Dan Garson, via Reel Art Press)

(Henry Diltz, via Reel Art Press)

(Henry Diltz, via Reel Art Press)

(Henry Diltz, via Reel Art Press)

(Henry Diltz, via Reel Art Press)

The Image Works / TopFoto

(Tom Miner, via Reel Art Press)

(Henry Diltz, via Reel Art Press)

(Henry Diltz, via Reel Art Press)

“Woodstock – 3 Days of Peace & Music” by Michael Lang (out now) is published by Reel Art Press. For further information and full list of stockists visit www.reelartpress.com.