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Fired and forging a career in music - Woodstock effect on young reveller

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Fired and forging a career in music - Woodstock effect on young reveller

Fired and forging a career in music - Woodstock effect on young reveller

Skipping work in the summer of 1969 carried life-changing consequences for then 17-year-old Jason Stone.

Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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Fired and forging a career in music - Woodstock effect on young reveller

17-year-old Jason Stone went AWOL with a fellow summer camp worker to attend the Woodstock Festival - an event that inspired him to forge a future in the music industry.

After working through the ranks and serving as Executive Vice President of Live Nation New York, Stone today runs his own company, managing artists and venues and consulting Live Nation on Bethel Woods - the site of the Woodstock Festival.

But in 1969 he was working at a summer camp in Monroe, New York state, where councilors strictly prohibited staffers from leaving the premises and attending the nearby festival.

"The owners of the camp that I worked for called together the staff on Thursday night, prior to Woodstock beginning, and said 'we forbid any of the staff from leaving to go to this festival, whether you have days off or not, not important.

You're forbidden as an employee of this camp to go anywhere near that concert site due to safety issues'," he said.

Stone and his colleague Brian were the only ones to challenge the orders.

At 6 a.m.

They sneaked out of the camp with nothing but the clothes on their backs and hitchhiked and made their way on foot to the festival site.

His memories of the festival include eating watermelon spiked with LSD, hearing rumors of troubles but feeling as one with the fellow revelers - and above all the music.

The adventure did result in Stone losing his summer camp job and what he described as "the greatest firing I ever had in my life".

As autumn arrived, Stone went off to college, where he majored in music.

"As I continued into my college days I knew, after Woodstock, that the experience I had there was going to, wanted me to be in the music business, and wanted to be part of what Woodstock was." His 44-year-long career in the music industry has seen him work with some of the talent he saw perform at Woodstock that summer in 1969.

The three-day festival was held at a farm at Bethel Woods, in New York's Catskills mountains, August 15-18, 1969.

(Production: Parul Gupta)




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