Woodstock Program Guide-
Welcome by Paul Williams

This very friendly welcome to the festival was written by Paul Williams, then editor of the rock journal Crawdaddy.

What strikes me as significant here is how fully his rosy expectations of peace and love were borne out, while the rest of world was biting its nails worrying about a possible disaster.

You had to be there...

"We gather together
To ask the Lord's blessing
He chastens and hastens His Will
to make known
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing
Sing praises to His name
He forgets not His own."

Howdy friend. What are we doing here?

That's not a question I promise to answer, 'cause I'm not even here yet-though I will be. These program booklets have to be prepared and printed up at least a few weeks in advance, and so I'm just sitting at home at my typewriter wondering what you and I will have to say to each
other when we actually get together. 

I may be standing behind you.

I love you. We're here, I think, to be together-the music is a
large part of our celebration, but it isn't what we're celebrating.

That joy we feel is unlocked by the music & dancing bodies & smiling faces, but it isn't any gift from outside, each one of us carried it here in his own personal heart, hoping for a chance to be joyous with friends ... I hope it's happening. I know it's happening. "You were only waiting for this moment to arise."

We're here to learn to fly. We need each other's support. "Any day now . . ." This is a political event. An Aquarian convention. Politics is supposed to be stuff that shapes the world we live in together-thousands of people feeling good together is the strongest political statement that car-L be made at this time, it is the affirmation of Life, here we are, we're alive! And it leaves absolutely no doubt as to what sort of a world we want ours to be.

We are here to have fun, aren't we? If you came to this festival for any other reason, don't you - feel a little silly just now? What's happening here is not just the release of music into the air, that's only being done by a few people 

If you mean by music what comes through an amplifier, what's happening here is the release of energy and every last one of us is taking part. It feels good, yes?

"if you smile at me, I will understand . . ." That's the politics of ecstasy. Tim Leary could outsmile Richard Nixon with both hands tied behind his back. President Dick would never agree to the contest. He needs a hand free for The Button.

I love rock music, it makes me feel alive, it lets me in on the secret that I'm not alone in the world. The I Ching says about rock festivals: "The sacred music and the splendor of the ceremonies aroused a strong tide of emotion that was shared by all hearts in unison, and that awakened a consciousness of the common origin of all creatures. In this way disunity was overcome and rigidity dissolved. A further means to the same end is co-operation in great general undertakings that set a high goal for the will of the people; in the common concentration on this goal, all barriers dissolve."

"Gathering Together. Success. The king approaches his temple." Well, I assume that applies to all of us. What we're doing here is celebrating, and at the same time we're checking each other out, and what we see is a bunch of fools rushing in where angels fear to tread. And hooray for us; we've been fearful angels too long; we fools are the last great hope of mankind, and I'm happy to say we're going to make it 

Enjoy the festival, friends.

                      -paul williams

Email: banjoandguitar100@yahoo.com

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