Max Yasgur: The Farmer That Rescued Music History
“Woodstock was no achievement for Max. The festival was just an extraordinary event that widened his experience in life because of his contact with these people.”
~Mrs. Miriam (Mimi) Yasgur
Max Yasgur was born on December 15, 1919 and is most famous for owning the location of the original Woodstock music festival. Between August 15 and August 18, Yasgur’s farm was the most important location in music history and the dairy farmer became a music icon.
After the original festival plans in Wallkill, NY had fallen through, fortune shined upon Woodstock Ventures. The cousine of Artie Kornfeld, Lenore had a neighbor who was the nephew of Max Yasgur. Kornfeld asked Lenore to give Yasgur their number and he spoke with Kornfeld and co-producer Michael lang. After Woodstock, Yasgur was sued by his neighbors for property damage caused by the fans. His property also sustained extensive damages, and less than a year after the festival, he received a $50,000 settlement.
Less than two years after the festival, Yasgur sold the farm. He died at age 53 in 1973 of a heart attack and received a full-page obituary in Rolling Stone. Yasgur was one of the few non-musicians to receive such an honor.
After Yasgur’s death, the farm was purchased by Alan Gerry and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts was created. A Woodstock memorial was also created at the site to honor the farmer and his role in music history.
More on Max Yasgur, Woodstock farmer:
Woodstock Land for Sale, but Yasgur’s Legacy Live’s On