In August 1969, half a million young people from all walks of life journeyed from every corner of the country to a dairy farm in upstate New York for a concert unprecedented in scope and influence. Woodstock examines the tumultuous decade that led to those three historic days — years that saw the nation deeply divided by Vietnam and racial, generational and sexual politics — through the voices of those who were present for the event that would become the defining moment of the counterculture revolution.
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary, Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation, directed by Barak Goodman, written by Goodman and Don Kleszy, and produced by Goodman and Jamila Ephron, premieres Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, pbs.org and the PBS Video App.
“For three days in August, 1969, the values of ‘peace and love,’ loudly championed by the counterculture movement, were actually put to the test in the miserable conditions at Woodstock,” said director Barak Goodman. “The more than 400,000 people who attended the festival proved that they were more than just words. For a surprising number of people, that brief encounter with sacrifice, cooperation and generosity changed their lives. I think Woodstock continues to inspire because the grace demonstrated there was real and enduring.”
“Unlike Michael Wadleigh’s classic 1970 documentary, our film turns the cameras around, into the audience,” said AMERICAN EXPERIENCE executive producer Mark Samels. “By focusing on individuals – from concertgoers to security guards to performers to local residents – Woodstock expands our understanding of the event as not only an unparalleled musical milestone, but a once-in-a-century cultural phenomena that served as a coda to the sixties and a harbinger of the decades to come.”
Interviewees include festival producers and staff including Donald Goldmacher, Carol Green, Michael Lang, John Morris, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman; activist Wavy Gravy; festival attendees and others.