HomeJazzSweetwater: The First Band to Play at Woodstock Carl October 23, 2012 Jazz This interesting Wikipedia entry says that Sweetwater was scheduled to be the first act at Woodstock but “problems within the band” — use your imagination — occurred and Richie Havens opened the historical festival. The LA-based jazz/rock fusion group followed. Thus, the item points out, Sweetwater was the first band to play. It’s a distinction. This is Take it From the Splice, Boys. I’ve loved the first two minutes and the end of this song since I got the album in the early 1970s.