Woodstock was a music festival held August 15–18, 1969, on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Woodstock. Billed as “an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music” and alternatively referred to as the Bethel Rock Festival, it attracted an audience of more than 400,000. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain.
The festival has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history as well as a defining event for the counterculture generation. The event’s significance was reinforced by a 1970 documentary film, an accompanying soundtrack album, and a song written by Joni Mitchell that became major hits for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Matthews Southern Comfort. Music events bearing the Woodstock name have been planned for anniversaries including the tenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth, thirtieth, fortieth, and fiftieth. In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine listed it as number 19 of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll. In 2017 the festival site became listed on the National Register of Historic Places.