American Experience: Woodstock

Woodstock — the triumphant disaster

LOS ANGELES — As the reports rolled in, one thing was clear: Woodstock (shown here) was a disaster, a swirl of mud and hunger, chaos and confusion.
“The New York Daily News headline (said), ‘Hippies mired in sea of mud,” recalled Joel Makower, whose book is the basis for a PBS documentary Tuesday.
Other headlines echoed that — “Rock Crisis” and “Traffic Uptight at Hippiefest” and more. They set a grim tone, as festival founders had their post-Woodstock meeting with bitter bankers. “The last headline we had read was ‘Nightmare in the Catskills,’” Joel Rosenman recalled.
Then things rebounded, he said. The bankers compromised. “And the next headline we saw, which we thought was going to be worse, was, ‘Miracle at Bethel.’” Read more…