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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Issues Original Woodstock Festival Press Release


Serious and large scale preparations have been made by the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, a major pop festival to be held in upstate Wallkill, N.Y., Aug. 15, 16, & 17 to insure three days of harmonious living in anticipation of what is expected to result in the most heavily attended pop music festival of the season.

In a special meeting of the underground press and pop music leaders called by Woodstock Ventures, Inc., (Thursday June 26), ground rules were laid by VPs Artie Kornfield and Mike Lang, of the Woodstock Festival, concerned about the tones festivals are taking throughout the country. Heading the meeting with Kornfield and Lang was Jim Fouratt, freelance underground writer and originator of the first be-ins.

“We are here to curtail incidents between the kids and police,” said Kornfield. “If we want to stop violence and tension from becoming the norm on the fair grounds, (Newport, Calif., June 22: Denver Pop Festival, June 27) we’ve got to set new tones and for the festival and redefine its meaning.”

Woodstock has set its concept of the festival at “three days of peace and music.” “This is a scene away from all scenes or no scene at all,” said Lang. “At Wallkill we have 600 acres of free-space-to-roam on cleared country ground…perfect for a three day holiday.

Offered by the Woodstock festival are free camping grounds which will be the site of free round-the-clock workshops in poetry, craft, theatre, pottery and music, free cookouts and guitar playing around centrally controlled 24 hour fires and free rice kitchens for hungry music lovers with little or no money for food.

Camping supply stores will sell food for cooking out and organic food stands will offset a major delicatessen concessionaire contacted for the event.

Mathematically computed, are the number of comfort stations, first aid stations, water supply, food, and garbage detail to clean fair grounds daily.

Concerned with the esthetic as well, the four Woodstock principals, including VP Joel Rosenman and Woodstock Ventures president, John Roberts have planned “countless mind blowers” for the fair grounds. “Invisible art things, are one,” said Rosenman, “structures that you can’t tell if their natural or man-made.” Other things include chimes in the woods, things to play on, poems and paintings over rocks and “things to make for good vibrations.”

A carefully screened and briefed security staff headed by West Pomeroy, former Law Enforcement Coordinator for the Johnson Administration, will traffic the fair grounds and provide information and service at all fair-goers. Assisted by the Rev. Don Ganoung, Pomeroy said his men will be unarmed and plainclothed. “We are not there to police,” said Pomeroy. “Our function is to service.”

Woodstock does not figure on gate crashers. “Parking facilities will be provided for outside the fair ground area,” said John Roberts, “all patrons will be bussed to the gates, a twenty four hour service.”

Underground spokesman Jim Fouratt closed the meeting. “Part of the trouble stems from the fact that we really don’t know what to expect from the promoters, what their offering, what we are really paying for. The Woodstock people have laid it out so we don’t know what to expect.

Both Kornfield and Lang deny having backers. They say they and their partners Rosenman and Roberts have subsidized the entire event. All under thirty years of age, they say they got the idea of doing the festival because they needed one to go to that was groovy. “It all happened,” says Roberts, “because Mike and Artie wanted to see all their favorite performers on the same stage just once.”

####*This press release is a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s 40th anniversary of Woodstock exhibit which tells the story of the festival. Woodstock turned out to be the most heavily attended festival in rock and roll history. The resulting music and peace-loving movement changed the world. The exhibit is open through November 2009. To view other original festival planning and marketing documents, please visit

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