Road to Woodstock
On the afternoon of August 15, 1969, Richie Havens took the stage at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, welcoming a crowd of several hundred thousand to the green fields of Max Yasgur's farm. Havens was the first act - the legendary festival, years in the making, was finally beginning. Nothing would be the same after. But the story of the legendary festival begins with Michael Lang, a kid out of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, who liked to smoke a joint and listen to jazz and who eventually found his way to Florida, where he opened a head shop and produced his first festival - Miami Pop, featuring Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and others. In the late '60s, after settling in Woodstock, he began to envision a music and arts festival where folks could come and stay for a few days amid the rural beauty of upstate New York. The idea crystallized when Lang talked it over with Artie Kornfeld, a songwriter and A and R man, and with two other young men they formed Woodstock Ventures.