Woodstock: Now & Then

Season 1 Ep 248/14/2009

"By the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong. And everywhere there was song and celebration." In the summer of 1969, on a farm about 90 miles north of New York City, over 500 thousand people gathered for a three day music festival that, in an instant, defined a generation -- and changed popular culture forever. Now, to celebrate the historic 40th anniversary of Woodstock, VH1 Rock Docs and History Channel, in a first ever collaboration, present a definitive two hour documentary that will explore the event through a myriad of compelling stories, some known, many others told for the first time. We'll hear perspectives from not only the musicians who graced the stage, but the fans who gathered in mass; the concert promoters who risked everything; the volunteers who helped keep the peace, the local townsfolk and police; and countless others whose unique experience will help paint a tapestry of Woodstock that has never been seen before.Directed by two time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple and executive produced by Michael Lang, the original festival organizer, this film will take viewers on a wild ride. From the manic days leading up to the festival, as planners scrambled to find a concert site, through the traffic jams that shut down the New York State thruway; from the infamously bad "brown acid" to the thunderous rain and mud; from Richie Havens to Jimi Hendrix. Weaving together first hand accounts with rare archival images and, of course, an iconic soundtrack, those who were there will relive the experience. And those who weren't yet born can finally taste the magic of those days and nights of music. Importantly, this film will also look at Woodstock's legacy through the eyes of today's musicians and activists, uniting generations that, 40 years apart, are living in eerily similar times. It's a documentary that will examine why Woodstock, and all it symbolizes, is still relevant in today's culture. This will be more than a commemoration, it will be a continuation. And it will be a celebration -- to one of the most influential moments of the 20th century.