rare photos from woodstock 69 take us back to the summer of love

Woodstock taught us what we know about peaceful protest.

by Annie Armstrong
06 July 2016, 2:45pm

A couple play the guitar sitting on their car on the way to the Woodstock Festival, August 1969. © Baron Wolman

Baron Wolman stood at the Summer of Love's forefront with a camera in hand. His photographs of the legendary Woodstock music festival redefined what music photography could mean, as he captured Woodstock's patrons with the same care and focus as he gave the movement's heroes, from Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin. This month, his photography is going back on display to inspire the youth of London.

Crowd lying on the grass, August 1969. © Baron Wolman

Wolman became Rolling Stone magazine's first Chief Photographer, operating from 1967 through to the late 70s. During his time as a music photographer, he became renowned for his spontaneous and erratic approach to concert photography. He says in a press release, "I ended up spending most of my time out in the wild with the crowd because what was happening out there was just too interesting not to explore."

Woodstock's cultural significance reaches far beyond just music. The festival acted as a peaceful protest against the Vietnam War, and is still used as a primary example of how a countercultural event can make a global impact. Woodstock imagery remains ubiquitous in 2016, as it appeals to a youth culture dissatisfied with the current political climate. 

A band plays on stage at the Woodstock Music Festival, August 1969 © Baron Wolman

Wolman's black and white photos have taken on another life as a beacon of nostalgia for the Coachella generation, and you can revisit them during the summer of 2016. The images will be on display at London's Proud Camden from July 28-September 11. For now though, check out Wolman's ode to the fabled three days of peace below. 

A man holds a pro-vegetarian poster amongst the crowd, Woodstock Festival, August 1969 © Baron Wolman

A group of people walk down the road at the Woodstock Music Festival, August, 1969. © Baron Wolman

A group of young women sit on the grass next to the 17B West Road at the Woodstock Festival, August, 1969. © Baron Wolman

A young man sits next to a handmade wooden tent, Woodstock Festival, August 1969 © Baron Wolman

Members of the audience climb the sound tower to secure a better view, Woodstock Festival, August, 1969 © Baron Wolman

"Woodstock by Baron Wolman" is on show at Proud Camden, July 28 through September 11, 2016. 


Text Annie Armstrong
Photos courtesy of Proud Camden Gallery

Summer of Love
Music photography
Baron Wolman
proud camden