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Collecting Woodstock '69 Music Festival Memorabilia

Updated on February 10, 2018
TLStahling profile image

Toni has been an avid collector of rock n roll memorabilia for 20+ years - from The Beatles and Woodstock up to contemporary artists.

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

Jimi Hendrix Guitar Played at Woodstock 69.  On Exhibit at Experience Music Project in Seattle, WA
Jimi Hendrix Guitar Played at Woodstock 69. On Exhibit at Experience Music Project in Seattle, WA | Source

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:

  1. The word “of” will have the “f” directly in the bud of the sunflower. The copy is off point.

  2. First and last pages are an onion skin parchment. The copy is not as thin or opaque.

  3. Look for little white dots on black glossy images. The copy is slicker.

  4. The Grateful Dead’s two-page spread is crisp and sharp. The copy looks washed out.

Courtesy of Woodstock Preservation

Original Woodstock Program
Original Woodstock Program

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

Courtesy of Woodstock Preservation

- 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

Wallkill Woodstock poster where the event was originally supposed to take place.
Wallkill Woodstock poster where the event was originally supposed to take place. | Source

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

Style and design of the 1960s milk bottle from Max Yasgur's farm.
Style and design of the 1960s milk bottle from Max Yasgur's farm.

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."

Woodstock Remembered

What are your memories of Woodstock?

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    • TLStahling profile image
      Author

      TL Stahling 4 months ago from US

      Yes, you were right. It actually stated, "Home of the Woodstock Festival" on the bottle. I found an authentic bottle image and replaced the photo.

      Thank you for your keen eye.

    • profile image

      MartinMartin 4 months ago

      Please note that the Yasgur Farm bottle pictured is from AFTER the Woodstock Festival took place.

    • profile image

      pjd123 3 years ago

      I have an original Yasgur Farm milk bottle for sale. If interested, please reach out to me. PJD@leighimaging.com.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      The rain chant; Goin Home by 10 years after; and every song performed. I was in collage at the time and could not figure out a way to get there and back. But everyone was talking about it and I watched the documentary a zillion times and have the vinyl album. This is an awesome lens! I loved it!

    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 4 years ago

      Standing in a long line for hours to see the Woodstock movie when it first came out. I keep the theater ticket that became a part of my Woodstock collection with other memorabilia from the early 70s. If it had the Woodstock name or anything attached to Woodstock I snatched it up. Appreciate you writing and sharing this Purple Star lens because after reading and seeing some of the photos they brought back some fond memories for my Woodstock collecting days. What a trip down memory lane! Thank You! Hope you have an A1 Day!

    • rebecca-mathews1 profile image

      rebecca-mathews1 4 years ago

      my memories stem from going to a midnight showing of Woodstock the movie. i was born in 1960 so i was too young to attend. I think ii is great that you made this wonderful page and it is wonderful.

      regards

      Rebecca

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is a remarkable collection of memorabilia that you have put together here.

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 5 years ago

      Awesome memrabilia that I would love to own!

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      I am a big collector, wish I was old enough to have been there.

    • JoshuaJDavid profile image

      JoshuaJDavid 5 years ago

      I've always been fascinated by woodstock. I missed it by about 30 years though : (

    • PaulKSaunders profile image

      PaulKSaunders 5 years ago

      Love this site take a look at mine too Woodstock Remembered

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      You have a lot of great Woodstock 69 Memorabilia here.

    • jdwheeler profile image

      jdwheeler 5 years ago

      I wasn't around for the original but my friend mad the VHS of it and we would watch the whole thing over and over. Remember, stay away from the brown acid.

    • dotpattern profile image

      Pat Moire 5 years ago from West Village, New York City

      Never seen that LIFE cover. Pretty laid back. lol.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I'm old enough to remember Woodstock, but I don't remember being aware of it at the tiime. Lots of great history here, though. Very well done!

    • profile image

      sandi_x 6 years ago

      Interesting :-)

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 6 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Love the Woodstock posters. This is a great find for any Woodstock collector. Angel Blessings**

    • profile image

      sheezie77 6 years ago

      Very interesting reading!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I babysat for the family who was promoting woodstock in Scotchtown, NY. People called because they were angry about the event. My father and I walked in the fields and orchards where the preparation for the festival was under way. There were wind chimes in trees made from stones and many other art objects. Much later when the event venue was changed to Bethel, NY my dad brought home the mail box with the woodstock groups official name and address. It had been abandoned there. I wondered if there would be interest in the mailbox.

    • TLStahling profile image
      Author

      TL Stahling 6 years ago from US

      I was a little too young to attend, but the fact that a half of million people gathered to express peace and love - without one incident of violence - is truly an amazing thing.

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