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Musicians’ earnings at Woodstock 1969 compared to today’s Musicians.

Musicians’ earnings at Woodstock 1969 compared to today’s Musicians.

Woodstock is widely regarded as one of the most important events in music history. The festival, which took place in August 1969, drew about half a million people and was headlined by now-legendary acts like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Many of the sets have since gone on to not only become classic moments in those artists’ respective careers, but also representative snapshots of America’s counterculture during that time.

It makes you wonder, then, how much a concert of that magnitude and influence would cost, right? Many of today’s biggest artists easily rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars per event as shown last year article on Your EDM Blog. For example: Tiesto has a price tag range of $350-400K; Adele is worth $750K; Drake will set you back $300-500K; Calvin Harris can be bought for $500K; and Justin Timberlake’s gigantic booking fee of $1 million will easily put you in debt for decades to come. One would imagine that Woodstock’s illustrious lineup would cash in these kinds of big bucks (if not more!), but according to these archived documents, it wasn’t exactly the case.

As the monetary breakdown shows, Hendrix earned the most money from the festival, pulling in about $18,000. (For reference, that’s roughly $112,000 in 2015). Blood, Sweat and Tears ($15,000), Joan Baez ($10,000), Creedence Clearwater Revival ($10,000), and The Band ($7,500) rounded out the Top 5 earners. Other A-listers such as The Who and Joe Cocker took home $6,250 and $1,375, respectively. There was a lot of cash to go around, to be sure, but the event wasn’t as steep as some of today’s big-budget productions. Here’s one way to look at it: The in-demand deadmau5 is currently 2x more expensive to book than Hendrix was at his prime. Check out the full listing below.

1. Jimi Hendrix – $18,000
2. Blood, Sweat and Tears – $15,000
3. Joan Baez – $10,000
4. Creedence Clearwater Revival – $10,000
5. The Band – $7,500
6. Janis Joplin – $7,500
7. Jefferson Airplane – $7,500
8. Sly and the Family Stone – $7,000
9. Canned Heat – $6,500
10. The Who – $6,250
11. Richie Havens – $6,000
12. Arlo Guthrie – $5,000
13. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – $5,000
14. Ravi Shankar – $4,500
15. Johnny Winter – $3,750
16. Ten Years After – $3,250
17. Country Joe and the Fish – $2,500
18. Grateful Dead – $2,500
19. The Incredible String Band – $2,250
20. Mountain – $2,000
21. Tim Hardin – $2,000
22. Joe Cocker – $1,375
23. Sweetwater – $1,250
24. John B. Sebastian – $1,000
25. Melanie – $750
26. Santana – $750
27. Sha Na Na – $700
28. Keef Hartley – $500
29. Quill – $375

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Source: EDM Sauce/Ultimate Guitar /Your EDM

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