The music festival has grown to mythic qualities as a symbol for the counter-culture and hippies, but at it’s heart it was just a large music festival, nothing more nothing less. If it has had any lasting impact beyond the music (and to be sure there were many, many good acts), it’s that business-wise every region of the country has their own music festival every summer.
The Week: Woodstock is always over-hyped by people who weren’t there, said Mark Hosenball in Newsweek. But “as an authentic Woodstock attendee (or should I say victim?),” I can tell you that the festival was “a massive, teeming, squalid mess,” and the incredible music didn’t make up for it. So if Woodstock’s only legacy is that the masses endured such suffering without becoming violent, “what’s the big deal?”
It isn’t a big deal, but there’s been a larger cultural significance placed on “Woodstock” as a cultural landmark, when really it was just a giant concert. Halfway around the world, less privileged people were fighting and dying in a war for disingenuous reasons and I don’t feel like it’s an overstatement to say that when the “Woodstock” generation came to power they betrayed themselves. If there was ever a “me” generation it was that one. How’s that for over-generalizing?
Still, I wonder why no one chooses to celebrate Woodstock like they did in 1999? You know, the 30th anniversary attempt to pay homage by having Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit implore people to break stuff?
If the original Woodstock should be ashamed of anything, it would be the 1999 concert of the same name and its ratio of crap bands to good bands.