Photo Index
Museum Home
Photographic Beginnings
The Castle The Counterculture Social Activism and the Counterculture Communal Living Organizing Woodstock Afterword

Organizing Woodstock

photo Hog Farm members in free kitchen, Woodstock, 1969  


The Woodstock Music and Art Fair made history. It was, depending on one's point of view, four days of generosity, peace, great music, liberation, and expanding consciousness, or four days of self-indulgence, noise, promiscuity, and illegal drug use.

In 1969, Lisa Law and eighty-five experienced commune organizers were asked to assist with the medical tents, security, food services, stage activities, and information booths at a music festival near Woodstock, a little town in upstate New York. Seven months pregnant, with a toddler in hand, Law managed to take photographs of the festival, help run a free kitchen, and film an hour of home movies. She captured images of an event that remains one of the most powerful symbols of the decade.

Woodstock enabled thousands of middle-class young people to experience the communal spirit. For the first time, these young people felt empowered by their numbers. Politicians and manufacturers in the music and clothing industries took note of the potential of a growing youth market.


photo Hog Farmers arrival at John F. Kennedy Airport en route to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Woodstock, New York, 1969. The Laws and others in the counterculture saw music festivals as "purveyors of consciousness and peace."  


photo The musical group Quill on stage, Woodstock, 1969  


photo Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Woodstock, New York, 1969