Faculty Advisor(s)

Jennifer M. Black



Download Full Text (662 KB)


This poster divulges on the societal impact the original Woodstock festival had, specifically on the counterculture movement of the nineteen sixties. The music festival, lasting between August 15th to August 17th of 1969, became a spontaneous event along the woods and farms of Bethel, New York. With as many as half of a million fans in attendance, this festival became much more than just a series of concerts. With such a spontaneous event gathering individuals from across the nation, this sparked this debate amongst historians regarding whether Woodstock truly was as impactful to counterculture as widely acclaimed to be, or if it was an exploitation of a unique and popular memory in the majority of Americans during the 1960s. There is divide between prominent performers of Woodstock as well, as Carlos Santana of the American rock band Santana depicts his experiences with Woodstock as rather positive, as he discusses the culture and diversity presented at the original Woodstock was unlike any other recreations of the festival, along with idolizing the spontaneous nature of Woodstock. In contrast, lead singer of the English rock band The Who Roger Daltrey shared his negative memories regarding the festival, including the lack of payment and chaotic nature of the gathering being less than fond in his memory of its unfolding. Additionally, it is important to consider the significance of Woodstock in its entirety, as despite the various viewpoints taken in regard to the three-day festival, it is worth considering the legacy of such an event on popular culture regardless of its controversy in leading the counterculture movement. Regardless of beliefs shared across a variety of both primary and secondary sources, the original Woodstock musical festival proved to be a revolutionary experience across all types of demographics to share the collective message of peace, love, and music for three brief days in history amidst the social and political upheaval of the time.

Publication Date


Document Type



History, Government, Law & National Security


Woodstock, counterculture, society, music, revolution


Arts and Humanities | Cultural History | History | United States History

Woodstock '69: Catalyst for Counterculture?