A music festival in Upstate New York in 1969 changed youth culture forever, epitomised the more positive aspects of the countercultural movements of the 1960s, and created an archetype that similar events would strive to follow for decades. Elliott Landy was invited to be the official photographer by the organiser Mike Lang, who rode over to his house on his motorbike to offer him the job. Says Landy of the festival: “The cultural legacy of Woodstock and the reason people are still fascinated with it is that it is possible to have people living peacefully together in difficult situations.” Pictured here, Jefferson Airplane singer, Grace Slick.

To capture a flickering moment of joyous experience and share it with others - that was the reason I began photographing in the first place, and that is still the reason I take pictures today

Elliott Landy
© Elliott Landy | Magnum Photos

Elliott Landy, born in 1942, began photographing the anti-Vietnam war movement and the underground music culture in NYC in 1967.

His images of Bob Dylan and The Band, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and many others show the music scene during that time which culminated in the 1969 Woodstock Festival, of which he was the official photographer. He is also known for his work using kaleidoscopes and for his experimental still life of flowers.

Landy’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide and published on the covers of major US and international magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, Life, Rolling Stone and the Saturday Evening Post. He is represented worldwide by Magnum Photos, Getty, and several other local photo agencies.

© Elliott Landy | Magnum Photos

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