Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Woodstock 1969 box set celebrates festival’s 50th anniversary

A massive 38-disc box set will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock festival this summer.

Due August 2, the 432-track “Woodstock - Back To The Garden - The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive” includes a near-complete reconstruction of the legendary event, with every artist performance from the festival included in chronological order.

Produced by Andy Zax and Steve Woolard and limited to 1,969 individually numbered copies, the collection delivers 267 previously-unreleased audio tracks and almost 36 hours of music in total.

Presented in a screen-printed plywood box with canvas insert inspired by the Woodstock stage set up, the package also includes a Blu-ray copy of the Woodstock film, a replica of the original program, a guitar strap, two Woodstock posters, a reprint of a diary written by an attendee during the festival, two 8x10 prints from legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz, and essays by Zax, music journalist Jesse Jarnow, and rock critic Ellen Sander. Also included is a copy of “Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, a comprehensive new hardbound book about the event written by Michael Lang, one of the festival's co-creators.

Ahead of the archive’s arrival, two new packages will be issued on June 28: the 10CD “Woodstock - Back To The Garden - 50th Anniversary Experience” and the 3CD/5LP “Woodstock - Back To The Garden - 50th Anniversary Collection.”

Between August 15-18, 1969, more than 400,000 people converged on Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York for Woodstock. Thirty-two acts performed including some of the most popular and influential musicians of the era such as The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, and The Who.

The concert spawned Michael Wadleigh's Oscar-winning documentary as well as a pair of soundtrack albums.

"Wadleigh's film tells a story of Woodstock, but it doesn't tell the story,” writes Zax in the liner notes. “This 50th anniversary archive - which presents nearly all of the audio from the festival in something approximating real time - tells a different kind of story. If Wadleigh's film is a kind of psychedelic Busby Berkeley musical, ‘Back To The Garden’ is an audio-verité documentary. All of the mythology of Woodstock is here in this box; or at least, everything that would eventually create that mythology. The reality is here, too. And neither invalidates the other."

All versions of the 1969 festival package will arrive ahead of the planned Woodstock 50 concert celebration, which is scheduled to run August 16-18 at Watkins Glen International and feature the return of several acts from the original event alongside Robert Plant, Greta Van Fleet, The Killers, The Black Keys, Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Sturgill Simpson, Gary Clark Jr. and dozens more.

Woodstock 50 recently lost its original financial partner, Dentsu Aegis, over their concerns about “the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees”; organizers have secured New York–based investment bank Oppenheimer & Co. as new investors while promoters continue efforts to secure permits for the event before putting tickets on sale to the public.

For the latest updates on the 2019 festival, visit

See also:

Woodstock secures new financial partner for 50th anniversary festival
Judge rules Woodstock 50 may proceed as planned
Led Zeppelin stream second episode of 50th anniversary video history series
Robert Plant tops the hennemusic Hot 10
Search Led Zeppelin at hennemusic