People At Woodstock Describe What It Was Really Like

In the peace- and love-themed summer of '69, giant music festivals became a standard event for the younger generation to experience rock-and-roll, hallucinogens, and the predictable chaos from cramming thousands of intoxicated people into a relatively confined area. One of these festivals, the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, would be cemented as one of the most famous music festivals in history. 

Despite the many music festivals that came after it - and the many disasters that ensued - Woodstock was seen as a peaceful, decade-defining moment celebrating free love and music. 

Held in a muddy field near the rural town of Bethel, NY, Woodstock was host to 500,000 people who braved traffic jams, shortages of essentials, lightning, and pouring rain to witness one of the strongest lineups of pop music groups ever assembled on one stage. Woodstock became an internationally legendary event, its cultural importance scrutinized long after it concluded. But what was Woodstock really like? How did the experience differ for each attendee, festival employee, musician, or even local resident? What was it like to hear Jimi Hendrix play "The Star Spangled Banner" on that final day?

Anything involving half a million people will invariably elicit a wide range of responses and memories, a fact that holds true for those who have described their own Woodstock experiences.