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What: Woodstock's 50th Anniversary Celebration
When and Where: August 10 at Riverfest Park, Buffalo, NY
Our photographer Don Daly, a musician in a Beatles cover band called BackBeat'64, was the perfect reporter to cover WNY's Woodstock celebration held this past weekend at Riverfest Park on 215 Ohio Street. He grew up in the era, he's jammed with some of the best musicians WNY has to offer and he's here to tell you how he experienced the event.
The real Woodstock will be 50 years old on August 15. The original event was held in Bethel, NY on Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm on August 15 through 18. Over 400,000 people attended this festival of "Peace and Music". While the official festival was canceled this year, the Buffalo Music Coalition held its own inspired celebration this past weekend at Riverfest Park for Western New Yorkers to relive with virtuosity and gratitude. A few moments you couldn't dream of capturing anywhere else are below.
Marty Peters, 13 and 1/2 years old at the time, remembers being at Woodstock with his older sister Lynn for the Friday and Saturday of the three-day event.
Even young adults today, Angi and Jennie, are embracing the music of the 1960's, and finding meaning in the songs that were written back then about peace, love and politics. The songs were strong and meaningful.
Those in attendance were reliving days past, perhaps because they grew up in the era, but didn't take the chance to attend the large festival or were born out of another time period and were never given the chance to attend.
Nostalgia is why people came out to see WNY Woodstock 50 and the Buffalo Music Coalition musicians that were there to perform their hearts out, filling the shoes of legendary acts like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Janis Joplin, The Who and the final evenings performance featuring Jimi Hendrix as portrayed by Grace Lougan.
Grace Lougen performed on guitar such songs as "Hey Joe", "Foxy Lady" and of course Jimi's famous Star-Spangled Banner rendition. He famously destroyed and set the guitar on fire at the end of the song.
The die-hard fans that stayed until the end of the festival will have experiences others will not be able to have anytime soon. It was a night to remember for this BackBeat'64 beatle.
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