Melanie was one of only three solo women who performed at the Woodstock Festival and she later wrote the song "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" inspired by the audience lighting candles during her set (although most of the "candles" were actually matches or lighters),
Joan Baez was the last to perform on the first day of the festival, she introduced her song "Sweet Sir Galahad" by telling the audience that she wrote it about the courtship of her brother-in-law with her sister, whose first husband had died in an accident.
Quill opened the second day of the festival, unfortunately the band didn't appear in the “Woodstock’’ documentary due to technical problems with the camera equipment. The band separated in spring 1970 after having released an album which made some impact but did not gain national attention.
Scheduled to perform on Sunday with his band Fish, Country Joe McDonald found himself performing a few of their songs solo a day earlier, being asked to "fill in" a set until someone else could play. Later he maintained for a long time that he performed on the first day, right after Richie Havens.
The next band to play was Santana, a Latin music and rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1966 by Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana.. One month after the festival they released their debut album, which peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard 200 pop chart with the single "Evil Ways" being a top 10 single in the US.
John Sebastian, a founder of the band The Lovin' Spoonful, was not scheduled to perform at Woodstock but was pushed onto the stage to perform an impromptu set because the organizers needed an acoustic performer after a rain break.
The Keef Hartley Band was the first British band that performed at Woodstock. Unfortunately their Jazz-biased Blues-Rock sound didn't make a great impact, so they were soon forgotten. There are no official recordings of their gig, according to Keef Hartley's autobiography "Halfbreed" his manager requested $2.000 in advance to be recorded and filmed which was refused.
The Incredible String Band, who refused to play on Friday due to the rain, performed on Saturday at about 6.00 pm. They were a truly creative and distinct band who played folk and folk-rock based music with world and psychedelic influences.
However, Saturday afternoon at the Woodstock festival was a bad timing for sensitive, acoustic songs, after Santana and the Keef Hartley Band the audience was waiting for some heavy Rock instead of psychedelic Folk-Rock.
Canned Heat turned to audience favorites after their Woodstock gig. Their song "Going Up the Country" went to #1 in 25 countries around the world (#11 on the U.S national chart) and would go on to become the unofficial theme song of the Woodstock Festival as captured in Michael Wadleigh's 1970 documentary.
Mountain played heavy Blues Rock, mainly influenced by the well-known band Cream. Woodstock was only their fourth gig. When Mountain performed the song "For Yasgur's Farm" at Woodstock, it was an untitled track. It was later given its title while the band recorded their first album "Climbing!".
The Grateful Dead are their own phenomenon. Influenced by Blues, Jazz, Country, Folk and of course Rock 'N' Roll, they used to stretch their compositions to incredible lengths, improvising solos and lyrics.
Sadly, because of technical problems that caused band members to receive electrical shocks when they touched instruments or tried to sing through the microphones, their gig was extremely bad.
Janis Joplin had left her band "Big Brother & the Holding Company" a year prior to pursue a solo career and performed with a set of musicians called "The Kozmic Blues Band" , put together to record her first solo album "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!".
Sly & The Family Stone were pioneers of Funk-Rock which was based on Soul and R&B music combined with psychedelic elements as well as Gospel.
Given their late appearance at 3:30 am Saturday evening, or rather Sunday morning, they were remarkably fresh and powerful. The Woodstock show is widely considered one of their best performances
The Who were scheduled to appear on Saturday night, 16 August, but the festival ran late and they did not take to the stage until 5 am on Sunday. During their performance, Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman interrupted the set to give a political speech about the arrest of John Sinclair; Pete Townshend kicked him off stage, shouting: "Fuck off my fucking stage!"
Jefferson Airplane were scheduled as the headliner for Saturday, the second day of Woodstock, but finally started in Sunday morning around 8.00 am (or earlier). Singer Grace Slick introduced the band with the words: "Alright friends, you have seen the heavy groups, now you will see morning maniac music, believe me, yeah... It's the new dawn..."
Joe Cocker was the first officially scheduled act on Sunday. He went on stage at about 2.00 pm. Especially well received was the Beatles' cover song "With a Little Help from My Friends". Shortly after Cocker's gig a heavy thunderstorm washed over the festival and everything was brought to stop for several hours.
Country Joe & The Fish resumed the festival after the thunder storm on Sunday, August 17th. That must have been around 6.30 pm. The encore number "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" was introduced by the "Fish Cheer" but spelled with the letters F-U-C-K.
Country Joe & The Fish were a replacement for the band Jethro Tull who turned down the invitation.
The British band Ten Years After hit the stage on Sunday, August 17th at about 8.15 pm. They were known for heavy blues rock, and long guitar and drum solos. But what could have been a world-shaking performance failed due to technical reasons: the high humidity caused the instruments to go out of tune, the sound recording partially failed, and the camera team was just able to film the last song, "I'm Going Home", an intense performance which was one of the highlights of Woodstock.
The Canadian-American roots rock group The Band started on Sunday, the 17th at ca. 10.00 pm. They were known for excellent Folk-Rock, almost better than most US-based Folk bands, succeeding their mentor and former employer Bob Dylan.
Blood, Sweat & Tears had a distinctive R&B sound and gained a huge popularity in the 60s, enjoying headliner status at Woodstock. The festival's film crew caught the band's opening number, "More and More", as they took to the stage. But the band's manager at the time, Bennett Glotzer, ordered the movie crew to turn off the cameras and leave the stage since the band had not agreed nor been paid to be filmed.
The group played separate acoustic and electric sets. The mellow and soft acoustic set with Crosby, Stills & Nash opened with a very long "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes", a love song written by Stephen Stills. Neil Young joined them in the middle of the acoustic set.
It was only their second gig as a band and they were quite nervous on stage. Stephen Stills remarked: "This is the second time we've ever played in front of people, man. We're scared shitless."
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band were known as one of the few original Chicago Blues followers but by the time of Woodstock they had abandoned its roots of Chicago Blues adding a horn section which gave a big band touch to the music. They played in the morning hours of Monday, the 18th. The starting time is supposed to be 6.00 am.
Sha Na Na was a Rock & Roll act that featured dancers on stage. Even for 1969 they were anachronistic focusing on 1950s rock'n'roll music and New York street culture. Their 90-second appearance in the Woodstock film brought the group national attention and helped spark a 1950s nostalgia craze that inspired similar groups in North America, as well as the Broadway musical Grease, the feature film American Graffiti and the TV show Happy Days.
Sha Na Na was the next to last act of Woodstock. They performed at 7.30 in the morning of Monday, 18th of August.
Jimi Hendrix and his band was scheduled as the last performance of the festival, Sunday night. Due to several delays, they eventually played on Monday morning, 9:00 am, when most of the audience had already left.
They were introduced by Chip Monck as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jimi informed everyone that he had disbanded "The Jimi Hendrix Experience," and that he formed a new band called Gypsy Sun & Rainbows.