An Open Letter to Warner Brothers Studios

The Academy Award winning movie Woodstock is more than a concert film, the folks behind the camera were a witness to history. The 50th anniversary is quickly approaching, and there is Woodstock fever in the air. There is talk about concerts, a new documentary with some additional footage, and posts of reminiscences. Woodstock is and was more than entertainment, it was a phenomena that we know can never be replicated or reenacted.

I am requesting that the studio make all the footage—all 120 miles of —available for public viewing at movie theaters across the country from August 15-18 2019. For $24 per person, (the price of the original 3-day ticket price) people would be able to experience the actual Woodstock as it happened over that magical weekend in 1969 on Yasgur’s farm. The Monterrey Festival movie did this in 1986.

Woodstock is as much an American historical event—a defining moment in our history and culture as Washington Crossing the Delaware, Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address, and the flight of the Kitty Hawk. Thanks to Michael Wadleigh, Martin Scorsese, and scores of unnamed crew members, what happened that weekend is forever preserved the 160 hours of footage filmed despite the elements, crowds, and conditions. Woodstock showed the promise of who we are and who we could be as citizens. Max Yasgur exemplified crossing the cultural divide. This Republican farmer who supported the war and condemned drugs saw something meaningful in the hippies who swarmed his property.  We could all benefit from being reminded what Woodstock represented in a divided nation in 1968 

This will be Woodstock’s only golden anniversary. Those who attended, performed, set up the towers and cleared the fields are well into their golden years. For those who were there and those who wanted to be there, we owe them this chance to get back to the garden exactly the way it was, exactly the way it was captured on film. 

Mindy F Reed