Woodstock has gone down in history as one of the most epic music festivals of its kind, and for good reason, too. It brought in half a million people, all of whom came to celebrate music and some of the most popular artists at the time. Although discussing monetary assets may not fit the narrative of the “free love and free music” movement, when it came down to it, Woodstock was always intended to be a money-making enterprise.
The media played a big role in getting the word out. The New York Times put out ads for the hit festival, running one-page specials that called it “3 Days of Peace and Music.” The editors would soon realize that the story was “far bigger” than they knew. However, Woodstock might have gotten the press hype, but it wasn’t the cash-cow that festival promoters planned.
Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be the windfall the organizers had hoped for. In fact, they spent nearly $3.1 million in total on the event and took home less than $1.8 million in returns. Pre-sale tickets cost $18 to $24 ($120-$160 today). And many of the artists were raking in a pretty nice paycheck as well, with headliners earning upwards of $10,000 for their set. From Hendrix to Creedence Clearwater Revival, here are some of the biggest artist paychecks.