The 50th Anniversary of Woodstock to Be Celebrated at “Free Fridays” on Aug. 16 by The Relics


Only one rock concert made such a huge and lasting impression that an entire generation was named for it. Fifty years ago, more than 400,000 members of the Woodstock generation gathered in upstate New York to celebrate “three days of peace and music.”

“Free Fridays” Concert Series is presenting a Woodstock tribute concert Friday, August 16, at 8 the Bo Diddley Plaza to also celebrate peace and music. The concert is the brainchild of local musician Bob McPeek, who originally proposed the idea to “Free Fridays” coordinator David Ballard 10 years ago for the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. For that concert, more than 3,000 attendees, many dressed in tie-dye and other '60s garb joined the celebration. This 50th .anniversary edition has all of the band members from 10 years ago returning for an even bigger celebration.

Says McPeek, “The first overnight trip I took without an adult or parent was to Woodstock. I was just 17. Seeing The Who play at dawn made me realize that I wanted to make music my life. Ten years ago we celebrated the cultural watershed of Woodstock with the largest crowd ever to attend a 'Free Fridays' concert. It was amazing! It is a privilege and delight to do this again with my good friends and a fabulous crowd. We invite everyone to join the Woodstock generation!”

Joining McPeek (guitar and vocals) on stage are The Relics, an impressive cast of some of Gainesville’s finest musical talent. They include Janet Rucker (guitar and vocals), who also attended the original Woodstock, Fagan Arouh (guitar and vocals), David Ottenberg (bass and vocals), Rob Rothschild (drums and percussion), Brad Bangstad, (keyboards and vocals), Cathy DeWitt (piano and vocals), Dan Tampas (guitar and vocals) and Michelle Ott (vocals and percussion). Noted actor and singer Gregg Jones will serve as emcee, Woodstock announcer and vocalist.

Free Fridays” is presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, and funded in part by a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council. The entire “Free Fridays” 2019 schedule can be viewed at  The Bo Diddley Plaza is located at 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville. For general information, contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at or 352-393-8532. For more information about this event, please contact David Ballard at or 352-393-8746.