Note: Originally posted Sept 9, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Woodstock, Music Festivals, and Leonard Cohen
While Leonard Cohen did not perform at Woodstock, the August 1969 convocation at Max Yasgur’s farm had a major, albeit deferred, impact on the Canadian singer-songwriter’s career.
In August 1970, Leonard Cohen played two festivals sired by Woodstock.1 One of these festivals, The Isle Of Wight, produced a Leonard Cohen performance that is now approaching legendary status. The other, the festival at Aix-en-Provence was – well, that show was unique.
In fact, the Aix-en-Provence Music Festival in general, and Leonard Cohen’s role in it specifically, were uniquely weird.
- Leonard Cohen also performed at the Forest Hills Festival, which was in reality a series of concerts by different bands, typically separated from each other by a week or more, rather than a music festival in the common sense, and consequently the Leonard Cohen Forest Hills Festival appearance was, operationally, indistinguishable from other 1970 Leonard Cohen concerts. In any case, there were few elements shared between Woodstock’s Three Days of Peace & Music (and mud and drugs) and the concerts by, among others, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Fifth Dimension, and The Band held at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. Cohen was also scheduled to appear at the 1970 Strawberry Fields Festival held at Mosport, Ontario but did not perform. [↩]