Reporter recalls the mood, music and mud of Woodstock

Aug 16, 2019

When Jimi Hendrix was taking the Woodstock stage for his legendary performance, Mike Desmond was driving back to Utica for work on Monday morning. That performance aside, Desmond was on-site covering most of the festival for The Daily Press.


"It was muddy. The food ran out. The booze ran out," recalled Desmond, who has spent most of his reporting career in Buffalo, including his current post with WBFO.

Mike's press credentials provided exceptional access to the event. While thousands of vehicles waited at road blocks miles from the concert stage, Desmond's media accreditation allowed him to drive inside the festival grounds. The hood of his car provided a boost for a half-dozen exhausted walkers.

The performances of Richie Havens and The Who stood out for the veteran reporter. Desmond also recalled chatting with Joan Baez when he noticed "a guy shooting up in this tent right backstage."

"It was unique situation in one place, in one time," said Desmond, who doubts a similar event will ever take place again.