Wondering if the official Woodstock t-shirts sold on sites like eBay or Etsy are real? Curious if your Woodstock t-shirt is authentic?
This article should help clear things up.
Occasionally, people come into possession of a T-shirt with a Woodstock-related decoration, which also appears to be vintage.
Of course, the new owner is curious about whether or not the t-shirt is an actual official Woodstock t-shirt.
Here is one such case.
The Heritage T-Shirt
I’ve had this shirt for about 30 years. I got it from my uncle.
He was at Woodstock. I don’t know how he got the shirt.
I’ve done some research and it looks like the frayed tag with a label “100% cotton Sportswear” shows some age.
Maybe it’s from the late 1960s.
I’m wondering about this shirt compared to others I’ve seen online.
I’d appreciate any feedback and your thoughts.
Woodstock T-Shirt Photos
Official Woodstock T-Shirt?
First, good to hear from you buddy and thanks for your question.
If you’re asking if it’s an authorized/official Woodstock t-shirt, the likely answer is no.
Here’s a good reference article for it:
Excerpt from Defunkd article
This is the official word from Wade Lawrence, Director of the Museum at Bethel Woods (Woodstock Museum).
Security got red t-shirts (along with a red windbreaker). Festival organizers and head honchos got black. There were also green and purple. However, I haven’t been able to get the whole story on who wore what colors.
All shirts had the same “TV logo” on the back in white, and “Peace” on the front, above the left breast.
There were no official Woodstock t-shirts and other products sold at the festival (boy, did they miss out on a profit opportunity).
Nonetheless, there is evidence that some of the independent vendors were selling bootlegs at the festival.
More info: Defunkd.com
In summary, the festival didn’t manufacture any authentic Woodstock t-shirts for resale at the event. But, some opportunists did.
Locally Printed Woodstock Stuff
In one of the biggest missed marketing opportunities of all time, the organizers of the Woodstock festival didn’t create any merchandise to sell to the enormous crowds.
The only official Woodstock t-shirts ever produced were worn by the staff and crew who helped build the stage, manned medical tents and cleaned up in the aftermath with Hendrix’s guitar feedback still floating in the ether.
However, that doesn’t mean there are no vintage 1969 Woodstock t-shirts. There just no authorized ones.
Local entrepreneurs and buck-chasing hippies simply printed their own shirts. They later sold them at roadside stalls on the way to and from the event.
More info: justcollecting.com
History of the Woodstock Brand
Here is more about the Sportswear brand I found on Defunkd.
Hence, it does appear that the Sportswear brand started a very long time ago.
In one case, I found evidence of a Sportswear t-shirt with a label showing “wpl 7190”.
WPL numbers were issued from 1941 through 1959.
I dunno if you can see any “RN” or “WPL” number on the back of the label. In case you can, that might give us a good indication of when the shirt was made.
Next, I did some searching and couldn’t find any other t-shirt that looked exactly like yours.
Though, I did find some that were similar. However, the font used on “peace & music” was not the same.
This may indicate that yours is actually circa 1969, but it’s hard to know for sure.
With all that said, your t-shirt may not be an actual official Woodstock t-shirt. However, it’s possible that your uncle purchased the t-shirt at a roadside stall on the outside of the event. Therefore, it still could be worth some money.
Finally, it really boils down to these two questions:
- Did your uncle get it at one of those roadside stalls in 1969?
- Did he pick it up sometime in the 16 years between the event and when you got it from him?
T-Shirts Sold At Woodstock?
If you went to Woodstock and have any additional information you’d like to share about the t-shirts that were sold near the event, I’d love to hear from you.
Post the details in the comments section below.
Official Woodstock T-Shirt Photos
Here are some official Woodstock t-shirt photos from the museum at Bethel Woods.