In a lot of ways I don’t even like to give credence to any “Woodstocks” that came after the 1969 event on Max Yasgur’s farm, but in the spirit of viewing it all through reality, I can’t help but draw attention to the antics of the 1999 version. I would argue that what happened in 1999 helped permanently bring further editions of Woodstock to an end.
Allegations of rape, vendors prepared to physically defend themselves, multiple/random fires across the grounds in Rome, New York, arrests and widespread destruction of physical property. This is the legacy of Woodstock 1999.
The aforementioned seem like the “rock and roll” so often accepted and spread through culture, and the kind of “rock and roll” I want nothing to do with.
Where’s the peace and love?
Let’s keep in mind that the 1969 event was supposed to be ticketed, but when approximately 300,000 more people showed up than expected (a la, a stampede), all bets for financial gain were off. Granted, Woodstock 1969 was pretty tame compared to 1999, but we know it wasn’t without its lack of peace and love.
If peace and love were ever meant to be part of Woodstock 1999, then I believe what happened is symptomatic of our issues. We have issues.
Woodstock(s) has helped us see that despite the best intentions of some likely unrealistic hopes for mankind (some of which I do share), that we have countless underlying issues, problems, scars and wounds to deal with.
About a week ago I had this fairy tale love affair in my mind with Woodstock. Upon further inspection, I have some rethinking to do.