Has it really been 40 years? VH1 Rock Docs and History announced a collaboration on a two-hour documentary, tentatively titled “Woodstock: 40 Years Later,” which will air in August on three cable channels, VH1, VH1 Classic and History. Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple will direct.
In the summer of 1969, on a farm about 90 miles north of New York City, more than 500,000 people gathered for a three day music festival that in an instant, defined a generation and changed popular culture forever. That, for those of you too young to remember, was Woodstock.
“Woodstock: 40 Years Later” is being billed as the definitive documentary of the event and its legacy. Directed by two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple and Executive Produced by Michael Lang, the original festival organizer, the film examines Woodstock from the perspectives of not only the musicians who graced the stage, but the fans who gathered in mass, the concert promoters who risked everything and countless others whose unique experiences help paint a tapestry of Woodstock that hasn’t been seen in recent years.
“Woodstock: 40 Years Later” explores the frenzied days leading up to and throughout the festival, from how the planners scrambled to find a concert site and the traffic jams that shut down the New York State thruway to the infamously bad “brown acid,” the thunderous rain and mud and, of course, the music. Weaving together first-hand accounts with rare archival images and an iconic soundtrack, the documentary allows those who were there a chance to relive the experience and gives an entirely new generation an opportunity to feel the magic of that time.
The film will also take an important look at Woodstock’s legacy through the eyes of today’s musicians and activists examining why Woodstock and all it symbolizes is still relevant in today’s culture.
“Woodstock: 40 Years Later” is a co-production of VH1 and History, in association with Cabin Creek Films and Woodstock Ventures, Inc. Brad Abramson, Stephen Mintz, Shelly Tatro and Jeff Olde serve as executive producers for VH1 and Julian P. Hobbs is the executive producer for History. For Cabin Creek Films, Barbara Kopple serves as director and Michael Lang as executive producer.