Woodstock 1969 Schedule Depicted on Poster

Woodstock 1969 Schedule Depicted on Poster

This page presents some of the considerations that dictated the performers' schedule as presented on the poster. There are discrepancies between various schedule details as presented in books, magazines, on the Web, etc. The schedule presented on the poster - and here - represents the author's guess/interpretation.

Errors, inconsistencies, and any misinterpretations depicted are the responsibility of the author, and cannot be attributed to any other party. The Poster Schedule reflects information available to the author in 2009, when the poster was produced.

In August, 2023, I was contacted by a Woodstock scholar, Dale McQuaid, who pointed out a number of inconsistencies between the poster schedule and his observations/current understanding. Dale's insightful comments are presented here.

Dale also provided his excellent detailed work-in-progress schedule/playlist for the Woodstock festival. You can view it here.

You may note that clock time, as presented on the poster, is (almost) entirely allocated to the performers. An exception is the time allocated to the thunderstorm that hit after Joe Cocker's performance on Sunday. No effort was made to estimate or indicate the time elapsted between bands. Based on watching the Woodstock Movie, other resources, and common sense, it is obvious that performances were separated by announcements, speeches (e.g., Swami Satchidananda on Friday), equipment changes, etc. It might be possible to estimate the durations of actual performances, based on consideration of performers' set lists, as indicated at such locations as the Setlist on the Woodstock Wiki, listening to the many recordings of the Woodstock Festival, and other resources, but no effort was made to incorporate such determination on the poster.

I went to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located up the hill from the original Festival site, at the beginning of April, 2009 to check out the Woodstock Festival Museum and glean what details I could to bolster my poster offering.

Thanks to Kees de Lang's research, as he wrote me several years ago and is also represented on the web, I was aware of the general schedule ambiguity/uncertainty that persists to this day.

At the Woodstock museum, I was thoroughly engrossed and entertained by the exhibits, dioramas, videos, photos, artifacts... Very cool! I recommend several-hours-worth of a visit to the Museum, if you ever have the opportunity.

Near the end of the exhibit there was a schedule that listed, for Friday:

But Richie came on at 5:07 PM and reportedly played for 2 Hrs and 40 minutes (I'm not convinced, but I've read it) and Sweetwater was on before dark, as visible in photos and the movie. - But sunset was at 7:58. It seems to me that you can't fit Richie, Joe, John, and Sweetwater in the available 2 hr 50 mins of daylight.

So to my thinking, the schedule listing - on the wall at the museum - doesn't work.

I asked a security guard about this, noting what appeared to me to be an inconsistency. I asked if there was anyone in authority who might be able to shed some light on this. She said, "Wade, the Museum Director, might know about it. I think he's in a meeting, but would probably be happy to talk to you about it."

A few minutes later, Wade appeared. I explained my consternation about the schedule. He said, "It's funny you should mention the schedule. Just this week, I received a letter from Mike Lang (Woodstock promoter), who sent along new schedule details that he got from Mike Wadleigh's examination of notes from the film." (Mike Wadleigh made the Woodstock movie.) "Let me go get the letter and we'll take a look."

He came back in a few minutes and read the letter while we looked at the schedule on the wall. The letter listed the *Actual* schedule as:


(no change for rest of evening)


This represented a departure from anything I had encountered in the Woodstock literature. Needless to say, I was thrilled to arrive at the Woodstock Museum as a Woodstock novice and get the inside poop about the schedule from the Wadleigh thru Lang (thru the Director of the Woodstock Festival Museum(!!!).

It is possible that I mis-transcribed as Wade read the letter, and it's certainly possible that Mike Wadleigh was wrong about something, but I went with the sequence listed by Wade/Lang/Wadleigh as I developed the poster.

Again, this author will endeavor to incorporate credible updates to the festival schedule as presented on this Web site and on any future editions of the poster that are issued. Please feel free to contact the author with your comments or information. Send email to author..

Please note that source attributions (e.g., 'per #16') refer to the reference number indicated on the'Reference Sources' page.
Start DateEnd DateDay SequenceGroup NameStart Time End TimeDurationNotes
15151Richie Havens 17:0719:00 113 5:07 per, e.g., #2, #19; "Two hours and 40 minutes" per Richie Havens at end of #13;
15152Sweetwater 19:0020:00 60In daylight per photo in #12; '' 80 min set' and 'thru incredible sunset' per #16; Started at 7:30 pm per #19;
15153Bert Sommer 20:0021:15 75Follows Sweetwater per #9; starts at 8 pm per #2; "Bert Sommer on now, Tim Hardin on next' spoken in daylight to Joan Baez in #14, the movie.Started at 8:20 per #19;
15154Tim Hardin 21:1522:00 45Starts at 9 pm per #2, #19
15155Ravi Shankar 22:0023:00 60'Rain hit in the middle of Ravi's set.' source???; 'rain hit at 10:35 pm' per #2; Started at 10 pm and 'Rain ended Ravi's set at 10:35' per #19.
15156Melanie 23:0023:59 59Started at 10:50 per #19; 'Started to rain just before I went on.' Melanie, in Rolling Stone Aug 24, 1989;
15167Arlo Guthrie 23:59 1:00 61Started at 11:55 pm per #19
16168Joan Baez 1:00 2:00 60Started at 12:55 per #19; ended at 2 am per #9; rained thru most of Friday night per #7;
16161Quill 12:1513:30 75Started at 12:15 per #2; started at 1:20 pm per #19;
16162Country Joe 13:3014:30 60Started at 2:20 pm per #19; If order is as described above from #19, 1:30 pm seems more plausible.
16163Santana 14:3015:45 75Started at around 2:30 per #2; started at about 5:15 pm per #19, but note different assumed order;
16164John Sebastian 15:4516:30 45Steady drizzle Saturday am per #7; 'Raining when I started, sun when I finished' John Sebastian, and 'Sebastian played due to stage too wet for amps' in Rolling Stone 8/24/89;
16165Keef Hartley 16:3017:30 60Started at about 4 pm per #19, but note different assumed order;
16166Incredible String Band 17:3018:45 75Started at about 6:30 pm per #19, but note different assumed order;
16167Canned Heat 18:4520:00 75Sunset about 7:56; played in daylight per #11; in dark per #12; in twilight per #14; before Mountain per #9; started at 8 pm per #19;'playing Blues at dusk' per #16;
16168Mountain 20:0021:30 90Plays in dark, i.e., after sunset per #11, #12; after Canned heat per #2, #9; started at 9 pm per #19;
16169Grateful Dead 21:3023:30 120'It was raining toads when we played.' Bob Weir in Rolling Stone 8/24/89;started at midnight per #19;
161710Creedence Clearwater Revival 23:30 1:30 120Started at 1:30 am per #19; followed GD at about 2:30 am per John Fogerty i #19;
171711Janis Joplin 1:30 3:00 90Started at 2:30 am per #19;
171712Sly and the Family Stone 3:00 4:30 90Started at 1:30 am per #2; 'went on at 3 am and played 1.5 hrs per NY Times in #8; started at 3:30 per #19;
171713The Who 4:30 7:00 150Started at 5 am per #19; 2 hr set thru brightening at 5:40 am per #7; 'sun rising as Tommy triumphs' per #8; (sunrise ~6:09 am); plays w/ bright sky in #8; brightening sky at Who end per #14;
171714Jefferson Airplane 7:00 9:30 150Started at 7 am per #19, #9; started at 8:30 per #2; played 'around 9 or 10 am' per #12; apparent twilight lighting #12; played 2.5 hrs til 9:30 am per #7; 'ushered in the dawn' NY Times in #8;
17171Joe Cocker 14:0016:00 120Started at 2 pm per #2; started at 3:30 per #19; played for 2 hrs per #12
17172Country Joe and the Fish 18:4520:00 75Thunderstorm started at 4:30 pm after sunny, breezy day, the sun broke thru at 6:15 pm per NY Times 8/18/69 #8; rain started to pour for hours, just as he finished per Joe Cocker in #19; CJ & Fish started 8 pm per #19;
17173Ten Years After 20:0021:15 75Started at 8 pm per #2, #16; started at 9 pm per #19;
17174The Band 21:1523:00 105Started at 10:30 per #2, #19; left the stage just before midnight NY Times in 8; per #2 Band starts at 10:30 and B,S & T at midnight but sez J Winter in between, doesn't fit;
17185Blood, Sweat, and Tears 23:00 0:30 90Started at midnight after Johnny Winter per #2, but can't fit Band and JW into 1.5 hrs; Started at 1:30 am after Johnny Winter per #19;
18186Johnny Winter 0:30 2:30 120Started at midnight, before B, S, & T, per #19;
18187Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young 2:30 4:30 120Started at 3 am per #2, #4; started at 4 am per #19; Neil Young came on halfway through set at 3:30 am per #4;
18188Butterfield Blues Band 4:30 6:30 120Started at 5 am per #19;
18189Sha Na Na 6:30 8:30 120Started at 7:30 am per #19; 'came on as the sun rose' per #16; sunrise was at 6:10 am;
181810Jimi Hendrix 8:3010:30 120Started at 8:30 per #2, #19; started at 9 am per #4, #9; ended at 10:30 am per #7, #19, and NY Times 8/18/69;