- Day One: Friday, August 15 -

Richie Havens

  1. From the Prison
  2. Get Together
  3. From the Prison (Reprise)
  4. The Minstrel from Gault
  5. I’m a Stranger Here
  6. High Flying Bird
  7. I Can’t Make It Anymore
  8. With a Little Help from My Friends
  9. Handsome Johnny
  10. Strawberry Fields Forever > Hey Jude
  11. Freedom (Motherless Child)

Watch Havens perform Freedom.

Havens as a live performer earned widespread notice. His Woodstock appearance in 1969 catapulted him into stardom and was a major turning point in his career. As the festival’s first performer, he held the crowd for nearly three hours. In part, Havens was told to continue playing, because many artists scheduled to perform after him were delayed in reaching the festival location with highways at a virtual standstill. He was called back for several encores. Having run out of tunes, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual Motherless Child that became Freedom. The subsequent Woodstock movie release helped Havens reach a worldwide audience. He also appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival in late August 1969.


  1. Motherless Child
  2. Look Out
  3. For Pete’s Sake
  4. Day Song
  5. What’s Wrong
  6. Crystal Spider
  7. Two Worlds
  8. Why Oh Why
  9. Let the Sunshine In
  10. Oh Happy Day

The second band that played at the Woodstock Festival was Sweetwater following Richie Havens. Sweetwater arrived later on Friday afternoon because they were stuck in the traffic jam. They started at about 6.15 pm.

Sri Swami Satchidananda

Sri Swami Satchidananda opened the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival  in Bethel, New York  on August 15, addressing a crowd of approximately 500,000.

“My Beloved Brothers and Sisters:

I am overwhelmed with joy to see the entire youth of America gathered here in the name of the fine art of music. In fact, through the music, we can work wonders. Music is a celestial sound and it is the sound that controls the whole universe, not atomic vibrations. Sound energy, sound power, is much, much greater than any other power in this world. And, one thing I would very much wish you all to remember is that with sound, we can make—and at the same time, break. Even in the war-field, to make the tender heart an animal, sound is used. Without that war band, that terrific sound, man will not become animal to kill his own brethren. So, that proves that you can break with sound, and if we care, we can make also.”

Bert Sommer

  1. Jennifer
  2. The Road to Travel
  3. I Wondered Where You Be
  4. She’s Gone
  5. Things Are Going My Way
  6. And When It’s Over
  7. Jeanette
  8. America
  9. A Note That Read
  10. Smile

Bert Sommer played on Friday, August 15th. He played for about 30 to 40 minutes (based on the given setlist) accompanied by a bass and a second guitarist. Since he was a talented Folk artist he fit perfectly in the Friday band schedule.

Ravi Shankar

  1. “Raga Puriya-Dhanashri/Gat In Sawarital”
  2. “Tabla Solo In Jhaptal”
  3. “Raga Manj Kmahaj (AIap, Jor, Dhun In Kaharwa Tal)”

The Indian music genius Ravi Shankar was for sure someone very special for the Woodstock festival. He made his first appearance to the western world at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967, followed by an invitation from Beatle George Harrison. In the wake of spiritualism and the search for new influences his music became very popular but Shankar wasn’t fond of the drug-consuming and partying crowd of young people.

Shankar started at about 10 pm on Friday evening and played for over 40 minutes throughout the rain.