Collecting Woodstock '69 Music Festival Memorabilia
Why Collect Woodstock Festival Music Memorabilia
Woodstock Music and Art Fair of 1969 has proven itself as the greatest rock concert in music history. The memorabilia available from this music event are well-known among music collectors, and can still be found. Therefore, due to its popularity, it’s important to know the difference between original and reproduction of the various items.
Depending on the level of collecting, there may be a satisfaction with a reproduction (depending on cost and availability) as simply artwork to decorate a music room, dorm, or any other room or office. However, serious collectors seek authenticity for the appreciation and value that a piece of true memorabilia brings.
What makes this festival so popular is the culmination of current events that created the culture and influenced the music of that time. The war in Vietnam was integral in the “love and peace” that rose up in the generation of hippies and “flower power.”
For over 45 years, this music festival has proven itself to be one of the greatest moments in music history, and collectors of music memorabilia consider Woodstock 69 as an important special event.
Jimi Hendrix Guitar Played at Woodstock
Original Woodstock Program
The Woodstock program is one of the best pieces of memorabilia for the event. It can be hard to find an original as many were destroyed due to the rain and mud – but it is possible (pictured right). In addition, the price will vary depending on condition, as condition is always a major factor in value.
Woodstock was a one-time event, so there was a limited production on the initial printing. In 1985, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) released the Woodstock album, and accompanied it with a recreation of the program.
There is a way to tell the difference between the original and the copy.
On the original Woodstock Program:
The word “of” will have the “f” directly in the bud of the sunflower. The copy is off point.
First and last pages are an onion skin parchment. The copy is not as thin or opaque.
Look for little white dots on black glossy images. The copy is slicker.
The Grateful Dead’s two-page spread is crisp and sharp. The copy looks washed out.
Courtesy of Woodstock Preservation
Collecting Original Woodstock Tickets
The Woodstock event didn’t originate as a free concert. Tickets were actually pre-sold, and available at the gate. However, once the crowd became so overwhelming, the fence came down and the concertgoers were walking into the event free.
The Globe Ticket Company based in Massachusetts printed the ticket and their watermark can be seen on the tickets. Available as a three-day ticket event ticket, or a single day – selling from $6 to $8 dollars per day.
Extra Woodstock tickets were stored and later sold to the public as a souvenir of the concert. Reproductions of the original tickets were made in additional colors of orange and green. These were made from the same plate, same paper, but at a later date. The printing press, as well as the stock paper, were destroyed in the 70s.
Woodstock Magazines & Publications
There are some special edition magazines and publications published specifically for the Woodstock event. The most important aspect in determining an original is the publication date. Since the event took place in August of 1969, the publishing should reflect a 1969 or 1970 date. Reproductions or reprints of these magazines have later dates or none at all. Collectors will find value in the condition, which is always a consideration.
Woodstock Festival Poster
The most famous music poster in history - The Woodstock 1969 Dove Poster. Immediately recognized as the Woodstock Music Festival, this poster was originally created out of construction paper by Arnold Skolnick.
How to Tell an Original Woodstock Poster
- Original posters came in 2 sizes 18" x 24" and 32" x 24".
- They were either on a heavier cardstock or very thin paper used to plaster on walls and billboards.
- If the poster looks new or is that shiny poster paper, it is not original.
- Many originals have a thin white border around them and have the printing company stamped on the back.
- If it has a white border and larger border on the bottom, it is a second printing.
- If the color is orange and not red, and the details for camping etc, only has the header "crafters bizarre" etc. - with no underneath text, it is not original.
Woodstock 69 Final Poster Design
Original Woodstock Wallkill Poster
Max Yasgur and his Dairy Farm
Collectibles from Max Yasgur's Farm - the Dairy Farmer who said, "Yes."
It was a dairy farmer in Bethel, New York, Max Yasgur who finally said "yes" to everyone else saying "no." Max's consent to the festival drew a protest including a boycott of his milk.
Once Max became aware that water was being sold, he once again became a hero of the event. He filled all his empty bottles with water, and gave it away for free. Even passing out some of the milk from his cows.
Yasgur Farms vintage milk bottles are also considered a collectible from the Woodstock Festival. They can still be found, at times, from the 60s as a 1 quart glass bottle that usually sells between $350 - $500; condition determining price.
Identifying that era of the milk bottles are with the red logo "Yasgur" slanted on the front. The reverse of the bottle images a cow with the words, "You are cordially invited to come in and see why we're so proud of the milk we produce YASGUR FARMS."
1960 Yasgur Farm Milk Bottle
Tour the Woodstock Museum - See Original Memorabilia - It's Remarkable!
Other Woodstock Collectibles
There are so many other souvenirs that can be collected from the Woodstock era, including buttons, postcards, patches, and t-shirts. They may be hard to find, but not impossible. It's exciting when you finally come across an authentic piece of Woodstock memorabilia - and knowing what to look for makes it an even better find.
Keep in mind that there are various t-shirt designs on the market. The one that duplicates the poster is not a vintage.
Not only is the festival an event in history, a double album of the music is also available. Some rereleases now have Wavy Gravy's famous quote live:
"What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000."