On August 15, 16 and 17, 1969 — 50 years ago this week — the famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held near White Lake on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, N.Y. It was advertised as "An Antiquarian Exposition." The festival, considered one of the most important moments in American music history, brought nearly half a million people to Upstate New York for "3 Days of Peace, Love and Music." It made an indelible mark on American culture. Woodstock memorabilia is a popular collectible for those who were there, for those who wish they had been there, or for any collector’s inner flower child. Here are 5 Woodstock items with prices that have sold recently, along with 5 more that have sold over the years:
1. Original Woodstock advertising poster, first printing, with art by Arnold Skolnick, on glossy paper, includes list of performers and various activities over the three days of the event, 36 in. h. by 24 in. w., sold at a March Hake’s auction in Pennsylvania for $874. These original posters have sold for up to $2,500. In 2017, one signed by Skolnick sold for just over $10,000. Be aware, collectors, many reproductions exist.
2. Woodstock security staff T-shirt, red with printed white dove and guitar silkscreened logo on front and "Woodstock" printed on the back, size 38-40, sold at an April Daniel Buck auction in Maine for $310.
3. Set of Woodstock tickets, five original tickets: three $8 tickets, one for each of the individual days and two $18 tickets that were each good for all three days, unused. Sold at a March Hake’s auction in Pennsylvania for $885. A single one-day ticket can sell for about $40 online; a single three-day ticket for about $200. A single one-day ticket autographed in blue ballpoint pen by Grateful Dead member Jerry Garcia sold for $700 at a Las Vegas auction in June.
4. Strip of three "Food for Love" Woodstock food concession tickets, each ticket originally sold for 20 cents, rare because, with over 400,000 attendees, the Food for Love concession was overwhelmed and most of the tickets were discarded. Currently offered at RR Auctions in Boston with an estimated value of $200 to $400. (We’ll update with the price.)
5. Original Woodstock advertising poster, first printing on glossy paper, art by Fillmore East artist David Byrd. The first poster made to advertises the music festival in Wallkill, N.Y., the original proposed site of the event. In July 1969, the site was changed to Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, 22 1/2 in. h. by 13 1/2 in. w., sold for $875 at a Potter & Potter auction in Chicago.
Other bits of Woodstock memorabilia and their prices:
1. An original paper two-panel flyer, printed with the iconic dove and guitar logo, sold at Christie’s in 2006 for $900. The folded pamphlet included a map to Bethel, N.Y., a mail-in ticket order form and advertised a crafts bazaar and poetry and pottery workshops as part of the event.
2. A Woodstock jacket worn by a member of the security crew, red cloth with the word "Peace" inside a circle on the front and the Woodstock logo on the back, sold at a 2011 Leland auction in New Jersey for $3,751.
3. Jimi Hendrix’s wah-wah pedal, a device that alters the sounds of an electric guitar, sold in 2017 at Levine’s in Arizona for $27,500. (Who doesn’t remember his version of the Star-Spangled Banner, played on the last day of the festival?)
4. An original Woodstock schedule, an actual plan for the event in colored marker and pencil, sold at Christie’s for $10,000 in 2017. The lot included a handwritten note for the site owner, Max Yasgur.
5. And a bottle of "actual Woodstock, N.Y., dirt," with a label reading "Original Dirt From Max Yasgur’s Farm / To Relive Weekend Just Add Water or Alcohol" was offered at a March 2019 California auction with a $500-$900 estimate. It didn’t sell.