On a dairy farm near Bethel, New York, from August 15 to 18, 1969, Woodstock was a music festival. The festival, which went by the name Woodstock Music and Art Fair, attracted about 500,000 visitors. One of the most well-known rock events of the 1960s, it is renowned for the appearances of legends like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Who. The festival was a representation of the counterculture movement and is frequently linked to the hippie era. Despite the difficulties the organizers encountered—they weren’t ready for the size of the crowd—Woodstock went on to become a pivotal milestone in music history.
Throughout the three-day festival, a number of musicians vied for the title of most anticipated, with none other than Janis Joplin taking the top spot. The festival was promoted as ‘An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music’ and people could have fun while enjoying the music.
The performer made an appearance on “The Dick Cavett Show” about a month before she was set to take the stage at Woodstock. During the interview, Cavett questioned Joplin about how she affected the audience as well as her strategies for overcoming the anxiety and adrenaline that come with performing in front of a large audience.
Before engaging in any type of performance, according to Joplin, you need to have the proper attitude. The singer revealed a couple of her personal rituals for turning on and getting into the zone. Furthermore, she loves the stage and performing too much to ever quit and not finish her act since she always perseveres and succeeds, regardless of how difficult things are.
She said, “That’s because you’re on top of [the stage] instead of the bottom. [Singing] is about having an attitude. I think you can approach anything with the correct attitude. Well, I never thought about this until five minutes ago. But it’s about getting underneath the movement, the rhythm of whatever you’re into instead of just skirting it and looking at it.”
“Yeah, but you have little games that you play to turn yourself on, and then I’ve got this band, and I can listen to the horns, and if they’re pushing the horns, that turns me on. You can usually get yourself going. It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me; I wouldn’t leave it.”
The singer was undoubtedly intimidated by the magnitude of the audience on the day of her Woodstock appearance and had no idea how she would engage everyone and have a good time during her set. Despite her anxiety, she was determined to give it her all in order to elicit a response from the crowd and get them moving. After a few songs, the audience was completely under her control. She was able to increase the excitement with songs like “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)” and to slow things down with ballads and song interpretations. By the time she was finished, the audience was completely under her control; they were so thrilled that they even persuaded her to get back on stage.
No matter how agitated she becomes or how shocked she may be on stage, Joplin always makes an effort to maintain composure, be present, and regain control of her act, just as she had stated in her interview.
Janis overcame her anxiety and found the drive to carry on and give her fans a fantastic performance. She had a good handle on handling difficult shows, and her forecasts came true.