Festival Memorabilia

A pristine, unused all access pass issued to the Sullivan County sheriff's office -

This is the 1969 forty seven page long hand written draft of the "Report of Lt. Ralph Breakey, Sullivan County Sheriff's Department concerning the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. An Aquarian Exposition formulated, produced and effected by Woodstock Ventures Inc." pictured with it's officially filed typed transcript. The Lieutenant lays out the Subject, Date, Place, Purpose, Preparations, Participants, Responsibilities etc. and in doing so wrote that - "By the beginning of the second week of talks I fully realized that this event would reach a magnitude far greater than anything that had ever been seen in Sullivan County… these Woodstock Venture people were not just talking big".

He kept a daily log of his activities from Aug. 7 to Aug. 22 and in summation says - "An Aquarian Exposition presented by Woodstock Music and Art Fair clearly depicts to all that the management of Woodstock Ventures Inc. was incapable of successfully producing the Exposition they undertook. Regardless of which phase of the operation you analyze… not one chore was successfully or completely finished. From the very beginning and all the way through the whole phenomenon each job was left with loose ends dangling."

With renewed interest as a result of our FB presence, I thought I would provide further information about this report. It was acquired from a bonafide aging hippie chick who remains firmly anti-establishment. She knew Lt. Breakey personally and verified with no uncertainty this is his handwriting. Here is the first transcription of the text of his three page "report overview" in it's entirety:

Woodstock Festival - a catastrophical happening of 450,000 people doing their thing. The happening started two days before the scheduled time with more people present on Thursday than the total that was anticipated for the entire weekend. The purpose on the surface was to be 3 days of peace and music. The project of our department was to set up traffic patterns, control traffic, maintain peace, cope with emergencies, maintain communications, effect crowd control and maintain law and order as much as possible without endangering the public or causing damage to property. Preparations for this event had to be made in Preliminary, Secondary and Final stages. The Preliminary preparations started about July 25 and consisted of coordinating the various departments concerned with the event and the promoters and production staff of Woodstock Ventures. The Secondary preparations consisted of organizing the machinery that would cope with the event. The final preparations consisted of pulling all the known loose ends together in order for us to be able to effect our project and purpose. Figures - (none) Drugs - use of - more than some estimates - less than others. Arrests - not possible to effect more because of traffic congestion and mobs until Sunday afternoon.

From the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office files this was a working map when they still thought they could plan for traffic flow.

Here is a signed letter from Richard Seymour M.D. with a copy of an article from TODAY'S HEALTH, JULY 1970, sent to Lt. Ralph Breakey of the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department.

I'm gonna pull a few quotes - The assumption that music is the dominant theme of such gatherings is a false one. - The real purpose of a festival is a gathering of the tribes. - This is right in the tradition of youth asserting its independence - They seem to be looking for some kind of solace and temporary joy - The festival becomes virtually a nation of its own.

Maybe Abbie Hoffman read this article.

Front and back of my copy of Abbie's "Talk - Rock Album". It isn't pretty.

One of probably six copies of the Security Plan submitted by Woodstock Ventures for an "Aquarian Festival", authored by Wesley A. Pomeroy, Security Consultant. It's clamped into a letter binder (sticker price 29 cents at Davco's pharmacy / general store) recovered from the discarded files of the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

The report illustrates plans for a communications / command center, describing a strategy to provide "courteous, mature and intelligent service… a Security Group(whose) role is not one of law enforcement but is one of maintaining the peace".

Here are the brochures that went out for the original Wallkill and subsequent Bethel festival sites.

The inside of both brochures is the same and contains information similar to that included on the famous Dove on Guitar poster along with a cut out ticket order form.

Here's a really nice display of both brochures along with an original b&w photo and it's newspaper version. The two tickets are both for three days, the top is an advance discount price version at $18, the bottom is full price at $24.

This letter of entry and parking permit were issued to a reporter from Florida by Wartoke Unlimited, the company created for the purpose of handling publicity and press relations for Woodstock Ventures.

Ah ha! A classic original poster that's showing its age in faded colors - except for minor details along the bottom edge hidden from the sun by a too-small frame!