There’s Woodstock as it happened — the three-day music festival that took place in the summer of 1969 on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York, not too far from Scranton, Pennsylvania. And then there’s Woodstock the legend — the peace-and-love totem of the hippie generation, memorialized in Michael Wadleigh’s documentary film and two album releases over the course of the 70s.
As the 50th anniversary of Woodstock approaches this week and various commemorative celebrations are held — including #XPNStock, a set-by-set playback of the entire festival beginning on Thursday, August 15th at 5:07 p.m. — a new, massive collection of music seeks to parse the difference between the legend and the reality of Woodstock. Compiled by archivist Andy Zax over the past decade-plus, Woodstock – Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive puts together every scrap of audio in the order it occurred, creating a more nuanced picture of the event than the less-than-accurate narrative of the film version.
Ahead of #XPNStock, Zax caught up with XPN Program Director Dan Reed to discuss the project at length, beginning with the surprisingly difficult search for the most basic of information: set times. Continue reading →