There’s nothing like the smell of mud, sweat, and “dirty hippies” in the morning, three days in a row. Man, Woodstock must have been great. The best musicians of the time played the outdoor festival, many of whom would be infamous for generations to come. The attendants got to witness performances by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, and Jefferson Airplane alongside nearly half a million other fans at a dairy farm in upstate New York.
The festival was so packed that it caused massive traffic jams and performers had to be brought in by helicopter. “Peace and love” reigned supreme, the unofficial official message of the festival, second only to “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” Which, in all reality, was the soul of the monstrous gathering. Woodstock was the largest music festival in history and would set a precedent for all the festivals that came after. It was an experience that few today will ever get to live, an embodiment of the counterculture era, and one that many old, rebellious souls still pine for. The only thing more plentiful than rock and roll was the drugs.
You got free drugs whether you wanted them or not
For the festival-goers at Woodstock, the LSD was free… whether you wanted it or not. Acid probably wasn’t cheap in the 60s but, somehow, they managed to lace absolutely everything. It was a serious problem. Performers were paranoid to eat or drink anything they didn’t bring themselves because they weren’t sure if a water bottle was going to send them to a planet where all the life forms took on a vague panda bear shape and the trees spoke in a purple hue.
According to Rolling Stone, Joan Baez wasn’t sure she ate anything the whole time she was at Woodstock since she was six months pregnant and didn’t want to get dosed. Roger Daltrey of The Who said even the ice cubes were laced. Luckily, he brought his own bottle of booze, so he was safe. Well, he was safe until he decided that having a cup of tea was a good idea. Turns out it wasn’t. “That’s how they got me. A nice cup of hallucinogenic tea,” Daltrey said about the incident.
Performers weren’t the only ones afflicted either. LSD was rampant in the crowd as well. Nurse Sanderson, who worked the festival, said they were giving out free Kool-Aid laced with the stuff right outside the tent. Anyone who was thirsty from three days in direct sunlight got to quench their thirst and taste colors to boot.
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