The Festival That Rocked the World – Sky Arts

Two years after the first summer of love, Woodstock was the festival that defined an era and wrote the book on what a rock event should be

In The Festival That Rocked the World, we revisit upstate New York, where 50 years ago this weekend, on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm, a music festival billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: three days of peace and music” took place.

Organisers expected 200,000 people, but twice that turned up, and what became known as simply “Woodstock” is now part of music history, thanks also to Joni Mitchell’s specially written song and an Oscar-winning 1970 film film directed by Michael Wadleigh and shot by, among others, a budding Martin Scorsese.

Hendrix at Woodstock

Jimi Hendrix electrifies Woodstock. Picture: Sky UK

Joan Baez and Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Who, Sha Na Na and Blood, Sweat & Tears were among the eclectic performers. But this documentary tells the story of that weekend via people who were there.

Sky Arts also features documentaries on many of the festival performers, including Jimi Hendrix and Santana.

TV Times rating: ****