Woodstock Wiki
The Incredible String Band
The Incredible String Band01.jpg
Robin Williamson and Rose Simpson from The Incredible String Band
Performed on Day 2
Started at 6.00 pm, Saturday, 16th
Played for 30 min.
Further Information
Festival Day Chronology
Prev. artist Keef Hartley Band at 4.45 pm
Next artist Canned Heat at 7.30 pm

The Incredible String Band, who refused to play on Friday due to the rain, performed on Saturday at about 6.00 pm. Their set did not last very long; after Santana and the Keef Hartley Band the audience was waiting for some heavy Rock instead of psychedelic Folk-Rock.


  • Mike Heron - guitar, piano, vocals, percussion
  • Robin Williamson - guitar, piano, violin, vocals
  • Christina "Licorice" McKechnie - percussion, vocals
  • Rose Simpson - bass, recorder, vocals, percussion


  1. Invocation
  2. The Letter
  3. Gather 'Round
  4. This Moment
  5. Come with Me
  6. When You Find Out Who You Are


The Incredible String Band was a truly creative and distinct band who played folk and folk-rock based music with world and psychedelic influences. They were great innovators in this way. Mike Heron's and Robin Williamson's compositions were sometimes complex and generally artistic.

However, Saturday afternoon at the Woodstock festival was a bad timing for sensitive, acoustic songs. On Friday evening together with acts like Ravi Shankar this could have worked but not when the party was about to begin. It's too bad that the response to ISB at Woodstock was restrained - at best - because at the time they were considered a major band of the United Kingdom, and certainly the most "hippie" in many ways.

One has to admit that some of their song material wasn't really designed for live performances of only four people. Heron and Williamson played up to ten different instruments on their studio recordings but had to reduce to the important ones on stage. That sort of narrowed their sound and mystic vibe.

Their setlist consisted of unreleased songs from the future albums I Looked Up and Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending, both released in 1970.


Only one minute of "When You Find Out Who You Are" can be found on Woodstock Diaries. Rhino released on the box set Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm the songs "When You Find Out Who You Are" and "The Letter" - the latter one heavily edited. The rest comes from film outtakes and black/white video.