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Max B. Yasgur (December 15, 1919 – February 9, 1973) was an American farmer, best known as the owner of the dairy farm in Bethel, New York, at which the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held between August 15 and August 18, 1969. Yasgur was born in New York City to Russian Jewish immigrants Samuel and Bella Yasgur. He was raised on the family’s farm (where his parents also ran a small hotel) and attended New York University, studying real estate law. By the late 1960s, he was the largest milk producer in Sullivan County, New York. His farm had 650 cows, mostly Guernseys. At the time of the festival in 1969, Yasgur was married and had a son and daughter. His son, Sam Yasgur, was an assistant district attorney in New York City at the time. Yasgur was 49 at the time of the festival and had a heart condition. He said at the time that he never expected the festival to be so large, but that “if the generation gap is to be closed, we older people have to do more than we have done.” Yasgur quickly established a rapport with the concert-goers, providing food at cost or for free. When he heard that some local residents were reportedly selling water to people coming to the concert, he put up a big sign at his barn on New York State Route 17B reading “Free Water.” The New York Times reported that Yasgur “slammed a work-hardened fist on the table and demanded of some friends, ‘How can anyone ask money for water?’” His son Sam recalled his father telling his children to “take every empty milk bottle from the plant, fill them with water and give them to the kids, and give away all the milk and milk products we had at the dairy.” In 1971, Yasgur sold the 600-acre (2.4 km2) farm, and moved to Marathon, Florida, where, a year and a half later, he died of a heart attack at the age of 53. He was given a full-page obituary in Rolling Stone magazine, one of the few non-musicians to have received such an honor. In 1997, the site of the concert and 1,400 acres (5.7 km2) surrounding it was purchased by Alan Gerry for the purpose of creating the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. In August 2007, the 103-acre (0.42 km2) parcel that contains Yasgur’s former homestead, about 3 miles from the festival site, was placed on the market for $8 million by its owner, Roy Howard (1935-2013). Remembered for his free spirit and giving heart, Roy paid tribute to Max by hosting annual reunions. Yasgur Road and the Woodstock Audience Field will always be “Ground Zero for Peace” -Carlos Santana. SOURCE

Profile for Rock Legend News

Rock Legend News September 2018 Issue Featuring Bass Legend Leo Lyons Ten Years After founder  

Plus Leo Lyons band Hundred Seventy Split. Also, Alvin Lee, Chick Churchill, Ric Lee and Leo Lyons associations with UFO and Pete Way’s Ways...

Rock Legend News September 2018 Issue Featuring Bass Legend Leo Lyons Ten Years After founder  

Plus Leo Lyons band Hundred Seventy Split. Also, Alvin Lee, Chick Churchill, Ric Lee and Leo Lyons associations with UFO and Pete Way’s Ways...