Page 1 of 4 Woodstock Festival was a three day event of music and peace, held at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm, in the town of Bethel, New York. It took place on the dates August 15th-18th, 1969. Five hundred thousand people attended the festival, watching thirty-two acts perform over the three days. It was the first time that so many people had gathered together to listen to music in an outdoor setting (Articlesbase 2008). Not only did Woodstock Festival play a major role in the influence of music but it was also heralded as one of the most fundamental turning points in culture.
It was not just a music festival, it was and still is a generation’s symbol and it will forever be an event in history known to have changed music, culture and society in not just America, but the entire world, at a point in time when it was needed the most. In 1969 the Vietnam War was a major concern in the American Nation, in which majority of America’s youths were strongly opposed to the war taking place halfway across the world, where their fathers, brothers, and husbands were dying.
Woodstock Festival came at a time when many antiwar demonstrations had been taking place, but this festival was the biggest of them all. During the three days, many performers sang songs of peace and antiwar. The slogan of Woodstock was “Three Days of Peace and Music”. The promoters intended the word “peace” to link the rock and roll concert to the increasingly popular war sentiment (Oracle ThinkQuest 1999). Though the concert was not a war protest, the event itself became one of the most important protests to date.
There were political figures such as Abby Hoffman there to talk about the war, and why he was against it (Articlesbase 2008). The antiwar message that the youth of Woodstock were trying to implement, was that living in peace and harmony was possible, all over the world. Woodstock was three days of peace, love, and music and also a weekend of protest, questioning, and experimentation. At a period of time when the Women’s movement, the Gay movement, and Civil Rights were taking place, people were debating about all aspects of social culture (The Woodstock Experience 2011).
The festival was a landmark counterculture event; every person who attended the festival went against the norms of what was expected of society at the time. They replaced the materialism, competition, capitalism, militarism and rugged individualism of their parents with a new golden age, complete with love, sex, rock and roll, drugs, community and peace (Culture Watch 2009). It was near impossible for the world to ignore the message that the acts and five hundred thousand people were sharing at Woodstock, bringing the hippie counterculture worldwide.
This group will forever be known as the “Woodstock Generation”. Page 2 of 4 When Woodstock Festival concluded the public was in shock of how big and powerful this event turned out to be, but whilst the public were getting their heads around the historic three days, people working in the music industry were using the event to their advantage. Woodstock created a whole new audience to direct music towards, suddenly a whole generation was overtaken by the power that rock and roll music had in society.
Jim Fusilli states in How Woodstock Changed the Music Business (2009) “You had a new brand, and it was called Woodstock, and you had music that was associated with a mass world movement, a social, cultural and political movement. Music could be marketed differently in the world than it was before, and it was obvious that there was an audience for it that would go through all sorts of inconvenience to get music. The festival also made many musicians known a lot more publicly around the world, such as Santana and Joe Cocker who both became extremely successful all over the world, as youths around the world wanted to listen to the music played at Woodstock, to also feel a part of the new counterculture. When Woodstock was first announced, there was an anxiety brought on for some that the festival would become out of control, but it turned out the exact opposite. It brought many people together, and gave everyone a strong feel of ‘togetherness’.
Michael Lang, the co-organiser of the festival stated (2012) “The storms and mud brought people together and made it into a party. There was this feeling of brotherhood. ” Five hundred thousand diverse people were brought together, not only through the love of the music but for freedom. At a time in the world when war, overt capitalism and civil inequality were main issues, it was an incredible moment to have young people of so many different backgrounds; whether white, black, rich, poor, gay or straight, come together as equals.
Michael Lang also stated (1970) “That’s what means the most to me – the connection to one another felt by all of us who worked on the festival, all those who came to it, and the millions who couldn’t be there but were touched by it. ” In a time of affliction and grief Woodstock was an enjoyable experience that offered an escape from the harsh reality of the 1960’s. Woodstock was the shining light, in a time of despair and anguish. The points stated show that Woodstock Festival gave a generation a voice and a chance to take a stand against the Vietnam War, through antiwar demonstrations.
The festival took part in creating a counterculture that to this day is still known as the ‘Woodstock Generation’ all over the world. It brought many new possibilities into the music industry, and most importantly, for a moment in time, made people from all over the world feel togetherness within diverse backgrounds, all for peace, love and music. The festival will forever stay in history as one of the biggest events to change not only music, but culture and society. Page 3 of 4 REFERENCES Articles Base 2008, 1969 Woodstock Festival – A Memorable Dream, viewed 01/04/2013, articlesbase. om/music-articles/1969-woodstock-festival-a-memorable-dream-701965. html Culture Watch 2009, Reflections on Woodstock and the Counter-culture, viewed 03/04/2013, billmuehlenberg. com/2009/08/17/reflections-on-woodstock-and-the-counter-culture/ Dave Simpson 2005, How We Made: Michael Lang and Billy Cox on Woodstock, Guardian, viewed 03/04/2013, guardian. co. uk/music/2012/nov/26/how-we-made-woodstock How Woodstock Changed the Music Business 2009, interview featuring Michael Lang, John Scher and Jim Fusilli, viewed 03/04/2013, blogs. wsj. com/speakeasy/2009/08/15/woodstock/
Oracle ThinkQuest 1984, The Counterculture: Woodstock 1969, viewed 01/04/2013, library. thinkquest. org/27942/woodstock. htm The Woodstock Experience 2011, Woodstock 1969: The Counter-culture, viewed 03/04/2013, thewoodstockexperience. webs. com/acounterculture. htm Page 4 of 4 BIBLIOGRAPHY articlesbase. com/music-articles/1969-woodstock-festival-a-memorable-dream-701965. html artsandmusicpa. com/popculture/60’scountercult. htm billmuehlenberg. com/2009/08/17/reflections-on-woodstock-and-the-counter-culture/ blogs. wsj. com/speakeasy/2009/08/15/woodstock/ calebrossiter. com/chapter1b. html classicrock. about. om/od/history/a/woodstock_101__2. htm cultureshapers. net/three-ways-the-woodstock-festival-changed-our-culture/ edition. cnn. com/2004/US/08/13/twih. woodstock/ guardian. co. uk/music/2012/nov/26/how-we-made-woodstock history1900s. about. com/od/1960s/p/woodstock. htm library. thinkquest. org/27942/counter. htm library. thinkquest. org/27942/woodstock. htm lyricsmode. com/lyrics/c/country_joe_and_the_fish/vietnam_song_live_from_woodstock. html suite101. com/article/how-woodstock-changed-the-world-a284563#. UV9_-ZOnBqV thewoodstockexperience. webs. com/acounterculture. htm thinkquest. org/pls/html/think. site? p_site_id=27942
Cite this Woodstock Festival
Woodstock Festival. (2016, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/woodstock-festival/