Concert-goers at Woodstock, 1969. ‘What people were trying to do was get higher, spiritually.’ Photograph: Elliott Landy/The Image Works
Throughout the Woodstock music festival, which celebrates its 50th anniversary later this month, concert-goers scaled 70ft sound towers to get a better look at what was happening on stage.
Depending on your view, this was either “insanely dangerous”, as production coordinator John Morris described it in Woodstock: An Oral History – the towers weren’t set up to hold all that extra weight and one fallen structure could have killed “hundreds of people” – or an expression of the joyful sense of freedom that pervaded the four-day event in August 1969.
For photographer Elliott Landy, who captured the climbers during his in-depth coverage of Woodstock, the ascent of the sound towers, though dangerous, has a broader meaning.
‘It really symbolises the nature of the 60s,” he says, “which was that people were trying to get higher’.