Sunday 17 August 2014

WOODSTOCK: The Clean-up.

The Woodstock Festival happened 45 years ago this weekend. Here are some reminiscences:
Hog Farmers stayed on a week to clean up, and literally thousands of others.  It got windy and cold just before they finished, but the big job got done very fast with flair and fun. A long plastic tube with “Peace” written on it was stuffed with napkins and other soft materials and inflated with hydrogen. It took off through the air like a big snake until it was out of sight. Garbage was collected and then shaped to form the word “Peace” which could be seen in its entirety only from the air. A person started designing with bottles as they came in. It was creative-play garbage! The festival mood of joy and playfulness prevailed to the end.
(Jean Young &Michael Lang, Woodstock Festival Remembered)

John Roberts, co-producer of Woodstock, on the aftermath of the festival:
One of the things that happened over the ensuing months was that in order to meet our debts we had to sell the large portion of what we owned of that movie to Warners; they paid us a substantial amount of money for it.  We kept a residual percentage, which still pays royalties today; and we used that money to pay off the bank.  The bank had funded us a lot of money to cover the million-plus in debt that we incurred over the course of that weekend. And then the hundreds of thousands in debt we incurred in cleaning it up after it was over, and settled with Farmer Brown whose cows didn’t give milk for three days, and fighting the owner of Monticello Raceway who sued us because we blocked his entrance, and that sort of thing – none of which is particularly interesting to anyone, I guess, but ourselves, but all of which went on and had a lot to do with Woodstock.

(Joel Mackower, Woodstock. The Oral History)


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