Fifty years ago, Creedence Clearwater Revival was set to headline Woodstock. One of the few already successful bands chosen to perform at the concert, CCR was given a primetime, nine o’clock slot on the festival’s Saturday night.

“What they didn’t tell me was that I’d be following the Grateful Dead,” John Fogerty told the giddy crowd at Beach Road Weekend on Martha’s Vineyard Saturday. “And they’ve been following me ever since.”

With Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and Friends set to perform on the Island Sunday, CCR’s lead singer remembered how Mr. Lesh’s legendary band didn’t go on until midnight during that fateful Woodstock concert. Then, according to Mr. Fogerty, the band took some LSD, spent an hour silent on the stage, and finished their set at 2:30 a.m.

Mr. Fogerty, just a “young pup” at the time, went on stage immediately after — almost all of Woodstock passed out in the grass.

John Fogerty's son Shane helped him pay tribute to earlier eras. — Ray Ewing

“The Grateful Dead put half a million people to sleep,” Mr. Fogerty said. “One guy flicking his lighter said, John, we’re with you. I played that whole set for that one man. And then I went home and wrote this song.”

That song was Who’ll Stop the Rain.

Now, half a century later, Mr. Fogerty took the stage on Saturday with the same Rickenbacker guitar he used at Woodstock in 1969 to headline the festivities at Beach Road Weekend, sharing with Vineyarders the little-known story about CCR’s little-known Woodstock performance. It was a special moment in history for an Island experiencing its own historic moment on Saturday.

Although Beach Road Weekend began on Friday with a live orchestra performing the soundtrack to Jaws, Saturday represented the nascent festival’s first full day of musical acts. Over the past week, Vineyard Haven’s humble Veteran’s Park has transformed from a soccer and softball field into the setting for a full-blown music festival — the brainchild of promoter and Islander Adam Epstein.

Guests, ranging from families to gray-haired hippies to millenials, finally got a chance to witness that transformation this Saturday. Even though the crowd was initially sparse, the field filled up throughout the sun-baked afternoon. By the time the Dock Dance Band took the stage at 5 p.m. the place was buzzing.

“They usually don’t let us play in places like this,” lead singer Adam Petkus told the crowd. “We’re a little too rowdy.”

Dispatch revved up the late afternoon with local hero Chadwick Stokes (right). — Ray Ewing

The band played almost all original music to the mix of familiar and not-so-familiar faces in the crowd. It was like the Ritz had been moved three miles west and been placed in the middle of Vineyard Haven. One of those familiar faces was guitarist Delanie Pickering, who went on stage shortly thereafter with Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish.

“It’s awesome,” Ms. Pickering said, watching the Dock Dance Band. “I don’t really know the guys playing on the mainstage. But these guys are my friends.”

Some fans, however, did know the next guy playing on the mainstage. That’s because it was floppy-mopped Chad Urmston and his indie band, Dispatch. Mr. Urmston, who is more often known by his solo-artist stage name, Chadwick Stokes, grew up spending summers on Martha’s Vineyard. When he played his song Flying Horses, based on the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs, most of the audience sang along.

“The first time I played that song was over at the Wintertide Cafe at Five Corners during an open mic night in the late nineties,” Mr. Urmston told the crowd. “I can’t believe that the place I used to come play ultimate frisbee is now a music festival.”

Delanie Pickering rocked with Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. — Ray Ewing

The band split their set into an acoustic first half and an electric second half. Midway through the electric section, they brought on Camp Jabberwocky drum-circle leader Hudson Bausman to help with percussion.

Emily Filiano made her way from New Hampshire to the Island, and then made her way from the ferry to the front row of the festival to watch the band. According to her, getting to see Dispatch on Martha’s Vineyard was particularly special, considering the fact that the band had previously broken up multiple times.

“This is a dream for me, basically,” Ms. Filiano said.

Mr. Urmston thought so as well.

“What a dream come true playing on the Island like this,” Mr. Urmston said. “What a dream to play in front of John effing Fogerty.”

Grooving on the scene. — Ray Ewing

And for most at the festival on Saturday, Fogerty was the main draw — including Mr. Urmston, who stood with a young child in each arm to watch the storied star play. Mr. Fogerty opened his set with Born on the Bayou, the same way he opened his set 50 years ago at Woodstock. Although he’s a little older now, he had the same haircut, the same rockabilly twang in the voice, and the same sequined blue-plaid shirt. The only difference is that now he has a son. And his son was playing guitar with him onstage.

“I’m so happy to be here on Martha’s Vineyard tonight,” Mr. Fogerty told the crowd. “Never been here before, and I’m hoping to come back.”

Running through his original hits Susie Q, Up Around the Bend, and Green River, Mr. Fogerty also paid tribute to his fellow sixties and seventies icons with renditions of John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance, and son Shane Fogerty doing his best impersonation of Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock playing the national anthem. He played Who’ll Stop the Rain and he played Have You Ever Seen the Rain. He played the middle of center field. It was exactly what everyone wanted.

“Fogerty’s a legend,” Ted Kammerer said, who came to the festival from Rhode Island. “I had to cross that one off my list.”

Mr. Fogerty finished off his set with Proud Mary and Bad Moon Rising. It was 50 years ago that the first man stepped on the moon. It glistened well into the evening Saturday night, as the first day of music at Beach Road Weekend came to a close.