The original Woodstock in 1969 had a STACKED lineup, so it seems like it would've cost a fortune pay the bands . . . even if you consider that many of them are more well-known now than they were then.
A list of the fees paid to each act has been circulating on the Internet for a while now. JIMI HENDRIX got $18,000, which was the most. That seems like a bargain, but when you adjust it for inflation, it would've been more like $115,000.
Here's a list of what each artist earned . . . along with the amount it would be in TODAY'S dollars:
1. Jimi Hendrix, $18,000 then, which is roughly $115,000 now
2. Blood, Sweat & Tears, $15,000 . . . $95,000 now
3. Joan Baez and Creedence Clearwater Revival, both at $10,000 . . . $63,000 now
5. The Band, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and Sly and the Family Stone, all at $7,500 . . . $48,000 now
9. Canned Heat, $6,500 . . . $41,000 now
10. The Who, $6,250 . . . $40,000 now
11. Richie Havens, $6,000 . . . $38,000 now
12. Arlo Guthrie and Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, both at $5,000 . . . $32,000 now
14. Ravi Shankar, $4,500 . . . $28,500 now
15. Johnny Winter, $3,750 . . . $24,000 now
16. Ten Years After, $3,250 . . . $20,000 now
17. Country Joe and the Fish, $2,500 . . . $16,000 now
18. Grateful Dead and Incredible String Band, both at $2,250 . . . $14,000 now
20. Mountain and Tim Hardin, both at $2,000 . . . $12,700 now
22. Joe Cocker, $1,375 . . . $9,000 now
23. Sweetwater, $1,250 . . . $8,000 now
24. John B. Sebastian, $1,000 . . . $6,300 now
25. Melanie and Santana, both at $750 . . . $5,000 now
27. Sha Na Na, $700 . . . $4,500 now
28. Keef Hartley, $500 . . . $3,100 now
29. The New England psychedelic rock band Quill, $375 . . . $2,400 now
That entire collection of talent cost more than $141,000 in 1969, which comes to $896,000 today. That doesn't include the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Bert Sommer . . . because their paydays are unknown.
It also doesn't include Iron Butterfly, who were supposed to receive $5,000 plus another $5,000 for their light show . . . because they never showed.
The inflated numbers make the amounts more relevant, but it was still a bargain. Music festivals today definitely spend WAY more than that, and most of them won't be remembered one year later, let alone 45-plus years and counting.
Coachella doesn't release any official numbers, but they reportedly spend several million on their headliners each year, and they have well over 100 acts on the bill. In 2008, they supposedly got Prince for $2 million.
Although, like Woodstock, the smallest bands are probably earning less than they paid to get there.