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Woodstock

Woodstock

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Although the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival is a celebrated symbol of the hippie counterculture, it did not initiate the counterculture, nor did it mark its end. Nevertheless, Woodstock is a useful reference point for discussions of this significant social phenomenon. By 1969, the hippie movement had emerged as a group of primarily young people, who not only were opposed to the Vietnam War but also wore distinctive and colorful clothing, engaged in illegal drug use, and enjoyed rock and roll music.

In early 1969, business associates John Roberts and Joel Rosenman met record executive Artie Kornfield and festival promoter Michael Lang, and the four decided to produce the largest music festival to date. Although not fully immersed in the counterculture, they sought to produce a festival that would appeal to that group. To promote the festival they formed Woodstock Ventures, named after the town in Ulster County, New York, where Bob Dylan lived. Woodstock Ventures advertised the festival in the alternative and college media, hired a crew to assist with production, and booked the most significant bands of that era. Their most difficult concern was finding a site to hold a large, three-day music and art festival, which would also allow attendees to camp. Woodstock Ventures eventually found a site in Sullivan County, New York. They leased land from a local dairy farmer named Max Yasgur. Although Sullivan County residents expressed trepidation about the concert and especially the influx of hippies, Yasgur resisted this pressure and allowed the festival to occur.

Woodstock started on Friday, August 15, 1969, and on that day, approximately 400,000 (some estimated closer to one million) people, many without tickets, arrived at the festival gate. Fans waited hours in line, and when they entered, it was clear that they were not prepared for three days of camping. To make matters worse, it had rained considerably during the weekend, soaking the festival grounds. The promoters also did not adequately prepare for the throngs of attendees, and eventually they agreed to waive admissions fees.

Woodstock is the quintessential symbol for the hippie counterculture. Illegal drug use was extensive and open. While most of the fans maintained control, a small percentage of them overindulged, though there was also a freak-out tent to calm them down. Woodstock included a self-contained market, in which fans sold food, artwork, jewelry, and clothing to one another. The artists, promoters, and fans were more concerned about music and art than about politics, but the undercurrent of progressive activism was inescapable. The musicians and fans expressed support for social justice and intense opposition to the Vietnam War.

Woodstock attracted considerable media attention, which brought the hippie counterculture into the mainstream, and, as a result, the festival became part of the American cultural imagination. Although the festival was only one of many crucial events during a time of social and cultural upheaval, intellectuals, the press, popular entertainment, and the advertising industry have made Woodstock into the symbol of the cultural and political ideals of the late 1960s. Supporters of the social changes brought about by the 1960s cite the ability of the festival to overcome tremendous obstacles as an example of the success of the hippie subculture and progressive politics. Conversely, opponents of these changes deride Woodstock as an example of the chaos and lawlessness the 1960s wrought on American society.

Although in the early 1970s many experts predicted the end of the hippie movement, the spirit of Woodstock has not disappeared from the American cultural scene. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, the Grateful Dead, which had been at the forefront of the hippie movement and performed at Woodstock, played thousands of shows throughout the United States. A new generation of fans, known as Deadheads, many of whom were not born when Woodstock occurred, followed the band to different cities. Like Woodstock, Grateful Dead concerts featured illegal drug use, expression of progressive views, and vibrant economic activity. This subculture was so significant that University of North Carolina, Greensboro, sociologist Rebecca Adams set out to study Deadheads by attending shows and conducting field research on the fans (Adams 1998). During the 1990s a second generation of musicians and fans maintained the Woodstock spirit. So-called jam bands, such as Phish, have developed their own followings, especially after the 1995 death of Grateful Dead band-leader and hippie icon Jerry Garcia. Since 2002, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has occurred every June in Manchester, Tennessee. Although this festival only attracts 90,000 to 100,000 people and is generally well organized, it is strikingly similar to Woodstock. An eclectic selection of bands entertains fans; there is widespread and open illegal drug use; progressive political views abound; and people sell food, art, and clothing.

SEE ALSO Popular Music; Rock n Roll; Youth Culture

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adams, Rebecca G. 1998. Inciting Sociological Thought by Studying the Deadhead Community: Engaging Publics in Dialogue. Social Forces 77 (1): 125.

Makower, Joel. 1989. Woodstock: The Oral History. New York: Doubleday.

Steven Tauber

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"Woodstock." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/woodstock

Woodstock

WOODSTOCK

WOODSTOCK. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place in Bethel in upstate New York from 15 to 17 August 1969. Attended by 450,000 people, it is remembered as the high point of the "peace and love" ethos of the period, largely because the disaster that the over-crowding, bad weather, food shortages, supposed "bad acid" (LSD), and poor facilities presaged was somehow avoided. Woodstock was originally conceived as a moneymaking venture by producers John Roberts, Joel Rosenman,


Artie Kornfield, and Michael Lang. However, poor planning and happenstance forced them to admit most attendees for free. They were left with a debt of $1.3 million and a site that cost $100,000 to restore. Credit for the festival's success should go to the endurance of the attendees and to the likes of Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farmers, the West Coast "hippies" who organized food and medical support for the crowd.

Many rock and folk luminaries—including Joan Baez, the Grateful Dead, Ten Years After, Joe Cocker, The Band, Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash—graced the hastily constructed stage. Cameras and recording equipment captured most performances, the best of which were subsequently released on a number of successful Woodstock albums and featured in an Academy Award– winning three-hour movie, Woodstock—Three Days of Peace and Music (1970).

To avert the feared crowd difficulties, the music continued virtually around the clock, stopping only for the recurrent rainfall. Jimi Hendrix, Sunday's headliner, eventually played at 8.30 a.m. on Monday to a thinning audience. Musicologists subsequently described his blistering rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" as a defining moment in rock history. Less often stated is the fact that the high fees that many of the artists demanded and the star treatment that they received significantly altered the ethos and the economics of the rock music industry. Attempting to cash in on Woodstock nostalgia, the producers subsequently staged two more "Woodstock" festivals. The 1994 twenty-fifth anniversary concert in Saugerties, New York, attracted a crowd of more than 300,000 and featured some of the original acts, along with more contemporary artists. Sponsored by the likes of Pepsi and MCI and with tickets costing $135 apiece, the event is remembered mostly for its obviously commercial intentions. Woodstock 1999, featuring six-dollar bottles of water, three days of ninety-degree heat, and artists such as Kid Rock, Insane Clown Posse, and Limp Bizkit, ended in violence, rioting, and arson, with numerous reports of sexual assaults.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Curry, Jack. Woodstock: The Summer of Our Lives. New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1989.

Makower, Joel. Woodstock: The Oral History. New York: Doubleday, 1989.

Spitz, John. Barefoot in Babylon: The Creation of the Woodstock Music Festival, 1969. New York: Viking, 1989.

RickDodgson

See alsoCounterculture ; Music Festivals ; Music Industry ; Rock and Roll .

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Woodstock (cities, United States)

Woodstock:1 City (1990 pop. 14,353) seat of McHenry co., NE Ill.; inc. 1845. In a grain and dairying area, the city has food processing and produces paper products, medical equipment, machinery, and chemicals.

2 Town (1990 pop. 1,870), Ulster co., SE N.Y., in an area of fruit and dairy farms, at the foothills of the Catskill Mts. The Woodstock Guild manages an artists' colony there (Byrdcliffe, opened 1903) and sponsors exhibits. The Art Students League of New York also had a summer school in the town (1906–22, 1947–79); an art school is now there.

Woodstock gave its name to the most famous of the music festivals of the 1960s and 70s, actually held (Aug., 1969) near Bethel, N.Y., c.45 mi (70 km) to the southwest. The name Woodstock has since signified the 1960s heyday of rock music and the youth counterculture movement. In Aug., 1994, a 25th-anniversary Woodstock concert was held in Saugerties, N.Y., c.7 mi (11 km) east of Woodstock.

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Woodstock

Woodstock Music festival held between August 15 and 17, 1969, near Bethel, sw of Woodstock, New York, USA. Forced to shift from the original Woodstock location because of residents' protests, c.450,000 people arrived for the free, outdoor concert. The event was a celebration of both the music and aspirations of the hippie generation.

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Woodstock (city, Canada)

Woodstock, city (1991 pop. 30,075), S Ont., Canada, SW of Hamilton. It is an industrial center with diversified manufactures such as electric generators, fire engines, reed organs, auto parts, and textiles. The surrounding country has mixed farming, dairying, and stock raising.

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Woodstock

Woodstock a small town in New York State, situated in the south-east near Albany. It gave its name in the summer of 1969 to a huge rock festival held some 96 km (60 miles) to the south-west.

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Woodstock

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