Producer of 1969’s Woodstock calls it a lesson in community

Published 6:39 am Saturday, August 3, 2019

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.  — A producer of the 1969 Woodstock festival says he’s come to appreciate how a community can be born of difficulty.

Joel Rosenman said Tuesday he was so immersed in pulling off the massive event he didn’t realize people “were having the time of their life” despite a myriad of uncomfortable problems at the rural New York location.

Among the newspaper headlines that added to the pressure: “Hippies mired in sea of mud.”

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While concertgoers reveled in the music of artists including Jimi Hendrix and The Who, concertgoers also banded together to cope with food shortages, rain and more, said Rosenman. He helped conceive the concert that drew some 500,000 people.

Screening filmmaker Barack Goodman’s new PBS documentary about it gave him new insight into its message that reverberates today, Rosenman said.