In 1969 I was an underground filmmaker and when the Woodstock producers announced their intention to have someone film their upcoming Aquarian Festival of Art and Music, there were bids made to do it.
The multimedia company I worked with, USCO, put in a bid for me to film it, among several other mostly documentary filmmakers, but at the last minute Michael Wadleigh, who had cut a deal with Warner Bros. for distribution, stepped in and got it.
I was already psyched up with the prospect, and being a good friend of all the light show people who worked with the bands, decided to go to the Festival, knowing that the performers and staff would be staying at the Holiday Inn in Liberty, New York.
It was impossible to get up there on Friday with highways closed and people camping out for the first bus out of the Port Authority on Saturday. We took the bus Saturday to Liberty, not Monticello, and met up with our light show friends and then went into the Festival on the back roads.
Having received both a press pass and a staff pass, I was able to be on the press deck directly in front of the stage all day Saturday and Sunday, filming continually. Unfortunately, we had to leave late Sunday night and missed the Monday performance by Jimi Hendrix.
I combined my 16mm film with black & white video shot by some video friends of ours at the Festival and produced a 50-minute film “Aquarian Rushes” which has been shown all over the world and most recently at the Dayton Visual Arts Center last fall.
Above are some b&w stills from the film (though the film is also in color), featuring The Who and Jerry Garcia.