Is This An Authentic, Official Woodstock T-Shirt?

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.

Thanks,

Shane

Woodstock T-Shirt Photos

Vintage official woodstock t-shirt Vintage Sportswear Official Woodstock T-shirt

Official Woodstock T-Shirt?

Heya Shane,

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

Official Woodstock T-shirt - Back | Red Official Woodstock T-shirt - Back | Red

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.

Official Woodstock t-shirt | Front Official Woodstock t-shirt | Back Woman wearing red Woodstock T-shirt

30 thoughts on “Is This An Authentic, Official Woodstock T-Shirt?”

  1. My Aunt worked for Joel Rosenman and gave two Woodstock shirts to my Aunt after the festival. They are unwashed and unworn. He also gave her a poster that was pinned up once. She gifted these to me about a decade ago. How do I authenticate them? What do you imagine their value is?

    Reply
    • hey colin, good to hear from you buddy and thanks for your question!

      do your woodstock t-shirts look like the official t-shirt photos shown in this article?

      if so, the best way to authenticate them would be to take them to the bethel museum and see if they could/would authenticate them.

      as for value, if they are authentic, that’s hard to say.

      for true collectors, you could likely sell them for thousands of dollars.

      Reply
    • hey steve, thanks for stopping by!

      value/worth of a vintage woodstock t-shirt will depend on a few things such as:

      1. is it one of the t-shirts made for the staff — which is the official woodstock t-shirt
      2. condition of woodstock t-shirt
      3. ability to prove its authenticity

      i’ve read where some verified authentic woodstock t-shirts have sold for several thousand dollars on ebay.

      Reply
    • steve, can you take photos of your woodstock t-shirt and email them to me?

      i would need high resolution of front & back of the t-shirt, as well as the front and the back of the care/size label.

      Reply
  2. I do believe I have an original T-shirt Its Purple short sleeve With an Woodstock Label With a rivet through it ??? its old and has a real stupid thick bottom rim around it ! It has the work SUMMER but the v neck has taken the MM off ! WEIRD !

    Reply
  3. There were lots of t-shirt vendors there. Mine is gold with Woodstock arced over the circular bird guitar logo in red with black outline on back only. Brand is ?Velva Sheen? Hard to read. Mine in bad shape. Much loved and worn.

    Reply
    • heya riggs, great stuff! thanks for info about your woodstock t-shirt!

      velva sheen did make t-shirts a while back, they went away for a while, but i got word that another company revived the velva sheen brand.

      would you be willing to send me some photos of your gold-colored woodstock t-shirt (and care label) so i can post them here for future reference?

      Reply
  4. I worked at Woodstock and had one of the staff T-Shirts.

    They were solid colors (green, black… depending what department you were working in), mine was black and the Logo was on the back – it was a white square with the bird & guitar head in purple.

    What I most remember about it was that the logo on the back was a VERY thick plastic… and therefore very uncomfortable… and that’s why I threw mine out after the festival!

    Sure wish I hadn’t… but I still have my backstage passes, some tickets, original posters, etc.

    I hope this info helps anyone who has a Woodstock T-shirt distinguish whether they have a true original or not.

    Reply
    • heya steve! thanks so much for the confirmation of the woodstock t-shirts!

      that was the conclusion we came to as well, but appreciate how concise your answer was (:

      Reply
  5. I had the original shirt, it is a green, and the logo is actually on the back…the crew wore these only. You can see in the movie in the beginning,

    Reply
      • I have an original Woodstock T-Shirt, must have been made by a vendor then, my boyfriend bought it there at Woodstock for me because I couldn’t go.

        It has been in my safe, no one has even tried it on. I have been keeping it to one day sell it.

        Thinking this year might be the time.

        Trying to estimate what it might be worth…and if I should advertise it in the USA, England, or Australia.

        I need somehow to get an endorsement on it from an expert so people will believe me…I am telling the truth, just that so many others are “not authentic.”

        Hope to hear back from you,
        Nicole

  6. Very interesting … very much in keeping with the focus on music and not the profit motive for the organizers not to make t-shirts for sale at the event.

    Reply
  7. Hello,

    Very hard to say if it was at the festival or shortly thereafter. I’ve never seen any pictures of the vendors selling unlicensed shirts at the festival, but I know that there were some.

    I’ve seen one very similar to this one that was sold at Heritage a few years back. http://entertainment.ha.com/itm/music-memorabilia/memorabilia/graham-nash-s-woodstock-t-shirt/a/696-50109.s

    You can see the graphics are slightly different though.

    From the looks of it I would say it’s later, but still early 70s when many “Woodstock” commemorative t-shirts were made.

    Hope this helps!

    Reply
    • thanks max!

      i’m embedding the image here so i always have an image reference to it.

      like you said, the decoration is pretty similar, but the text isn’t exactly the same.

      graham nash woodstock t-shirt

      any thoughts on why you might think it’s a 70s era t-shirt?

      Reply
  8. Awesome as always Tug! Bang on. It may very well be a roadside version that tag could be 60s era.

    In the very least probably within few years of the event as a response to the hype.

    Even 60s blanks were likely in circulation into the 70s so you just never know.

    I’ll get my buddy Max to chime in as this is one of his areas of expertise.

    Reply
    • you da man jimmy!

      fyi, jimmy is from defunkd.com (see links above), and is one of the internet’s (and possibly world’s) most knowledgeable experts on vintage t-shirts.

      look forward to hearing from max too (:

      Reply
      • Was at Woodstock ’69…Took a week off from Salisbury MD Police Dept…grabbed a couple of tees from a vender near the event…

        have not a clue now as to what they looked like…but what comes to mind is a tan tee with large letters on the reverse WOODSTOCK ON AN ARC..and on the bottom of the arc is NEW YORK…

        of course we know it went off in Bethel….but i guess they were produced weeks before the event

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