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Max Yasgur
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Farmer
    (December 15, 1919-February 9, 1973)
    Resided in Bethel, New York
    Jewish dairy farmer offered his 600 acre alfalfa field for the Woodstock Music Festival (August 15-18, 1969)
    Died of a heart attack at age 53
    Given a full-page obituary in Rolling Stone magazine
    He was a pipe smoker.
    The festival was held in Bethel, 55 miles away from Woodstock.
    He believed the fest would bring about 40,000 people, not half a million.
    In 1970 his farming neighbors sued him for $35,000 in property damages to their farms.
    He offered the town five acres of his farm for $1 to build a park, but the town wasn't interested in something that would bring 'more hippies.'
    He sold his famous farm in 1971 and retired to Florida but died just two years later.
    He fought with county elders, received personal threats, and a sign reading 'Don't Buy Yasgur's Milk. He Loves The Hippies' was erected.
    Seeing this as not just an attack of him but young people in general, he stated at a town meeting, 'Well, you can all go pound salt up your ass, because come August 15, we're going to have a festival!'
    Right in the field where the event took place he negotiated a fee that went from $50 a day to a total of $75,000.
    The Joni Mitchell penned song 'Woodstock,' made famous by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, makes mention of him and his farm.
    His 'I'm a farmer' speech that was wildly cheered on the 3rd day of the fest is included in its entirety in the 1970 documentary film 'Woodstock.'
    He was anti-drug although told promoters he knew there would be drugs, but he had no objection to nudity and sex on his farm.
    Some drug users wrote to him after the fest to tell him they became clean after learning of his anti-drug stance, to which he commented 'to me this means everything.'
    In 1971, his legend now known worldwide, he met with Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and when he stated he was Max Yasgur from Bethel the prime minister said, 'Oh yeah, that's where Woodstock was, wasn't it?'

Credit: Scar Tactics


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