2019 marks Woodstock’s 50th anniversary

Athena Swords, Editor

In August 2019, the U.S. came upon the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, one of the most impactful music festivals of all time.

This gathering had close to 500,000 attendees and 34 performers. To outsiders, this was just a crazy hippie music festival, but in reality, it was much more than that.

The political, cultural and musical impacts of Woodstock were unmatched.

At the time of Woodstock, the war was not concluding in Vietnam and peace-lovers across our star-spangled country were protesting for tranquility.

Before this gathering of peace and love, the ideas of hippie culture were scoffed at and brought down. Woodstock joined people while bringing down the counterculture movement of the ’60s. Although the protests and mandated free love continued, there was no real drive after Woodstock’s end.

This musical union was the first time hippies could all be together as one. Yes, there were conjugations in California and New York, but Woodstock made everyone attending feel they were home.

Woodstock attendee Dave Tiedemann said, “I’d never been with so many people who were all there for the same thing which is music, peace and love and that was very lifechanging.” (syracuse.com).

These were their people and this is what they have been working towards for so long.

The hippie culture was no longer a force to be reckoned with. This culture that was laughed at for so long went from radicals to peacemakers.

In the war of the hippies for peace, their only weapon was music. The music industry after Woodstock changed drastically. Artists went from making music for money to making music to make a statement. There were many artists and bands that came out of Woodstock. While the 50th-anniversary concert was canceled this year, the artists still survive to tell their stories. Melanie, for example, is still touring and embracing her inner-hippie.

Syracuse.com, quoting an attendee, said, “‘It was totally incredible,” he said. “To see that many people in one place, on the same page, for three days, laughing, crying, kissing, hugging, sharing. This was a hippie attitude. I’m still a hippie, and I’ll never not be a hippie because that’s my life. I want to give more than take in. And that’s what we were doing.”’

While Woodstock had its failures financially, it was deemed successful by its attendees due to its cultural impact and overall experience.

Syracuse.com said, “Singer John Sebastian of The Lovin’ Spoonful and others repeatedly encouraged the audience to be peaceful and help their neighbors. And they listened.”