Fans can relive the iconic music festival with a new Woodstock 50 exhibit, which is open through the fall.
It’s been nearly 50 years since Woodstock generated legendary musical moments and catapulted an entire festival culture. Groups and artists such as Sly & The Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and many others defined a new set of sound. Woodstock 50 celebrates the ambition and ingenuity of those who mounted the festival to the performers who played it gaining a deeper understanding of the various faces of Woodstock and how it changed the music industry forever.
The new Woodstock 50 exhibit features rare prints, performance outfits, video footage, tickets, original signage and more.
One feature is a photo exhibit with rare prints, contact sheets and never-before-seen artifacts from renowned photographer Jim Marshall’s archive, including his earliest Leica M4 camera used to photograph Woodstock. Marshall captured the festival’s most raw and intimate moments from the three-day festival. The Rock Hall is the only museum in the country celebrating Woodstock with Marshall’s collection.
Check out the guitar strap used by Hendrix, a 1992 Rock Hall inductee, at Woodstock 1969. He delivered a mesmerizing set featuring his rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to a dwindling crowd of 180,000 who toughed it through the last hours of the festival. Hendrix’s handwritten lyrics to “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” the last song he would ever perform live, also are at the Rock Hall.
Woodstock 50 also features a and-drawn map of festival grounds with aerial views highlighting prominent locations. There also is a telegram from festival organizer Michael Lang envisioning the event documented from every angle with plans to secure the filming and clearance for showing footage after the festival.
Rare video footage from the Rock Hall collection captured during Woodstock ’69 with candid moments offers new perspectives of festivalgoers.
Look for the performance outfit of John Sebastian (2000 inductee) of the Lovin’ Spoonful from his unscheduled appearance at Woodstock. He traveled to the festival as a spectator, but was asked to appear when the organizers suddenly needed an acoustic performer after a rain break.
Shoes worn by Billie Joe Armstrong (2015 inductee) at Woodstock ’94, nicknamed “Mudstock” partly due to Green Day’s performance, are in the exhibit. Days of rain turned the venue into a field of mud and as Armstrong taunted the audience with “I don’t care what you do, I don’t want to be a mud hippie like you,” an enormous mud fight ensued.
The monthly “Rock Hall Nights” program will return in the fall with new themes and activities. For more information, visit rockhall.com.