3 days of Peace, Love & Music. While this wasn’t the first ever U.S. music festival (TBT to Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival 1967), I think it’s safe to say that we have Woodstock to thank for paving the way for our current world of Coachella’s, Lolla’s, and Bonnaroo’s. In honor of the 50th anniversary, original Woodstock co-creator, Michael Lang, is putting together a tribute for the ages. Start saving your money and PTO days now, because you’re not gonna want to miss what will be going down in Watkins Glen, NY on the weekend of August 16th.
Full lineup hasn’t been released yet, but new confirmed acts are coming out each day, and I’m gonna say it’s looking pretty damn good so far. There’s a clear combination of today’s popular artists and some Woodstock originals. Critics are saying it’s not rock heavy enough for a festival that was made for rock. To that my response would be that Woodstock was made to reflect the taste of the times, and the 50th anniversary edition is embracing the fact that times have changed. The complete bill of acts isn’t even out yet, but already there are artists that cover a WIDE variety of genres. Not to mention that these are some crazy huge names to be playing in the middle of non-NYC New York, which I see as a testament to how iconic ’69 Woodstock was and how many people want to pay homage to it.
What’s interesting to me is the fact that tickets and camping options aren’t for sale yet. We don’t have a clue how much admission and accommodation are going to cost. Given how heavy the headliners are, I’d have to imagine that I won’t be able to pay for this festival in flower crowns and glitter. With an estimated attendance of anywhere from 75,000 to 125,000 people per day, it would be quite the campground experience if hotels aren’t an option. Also, Watkins Glen isn’t exactly the metropolitan hub of the world, so getting to and from the festival site will be an adventure in and of itself for out-of-staters. But hey, if 400,000 people could do it before Uber and cell phones existed, I’m sure we can do it now.
In the meantime, all we can do is hold our breath as details continue to leak. On March 4, Lang put out a statement addressing all of the rumors surrounding Woodstock 50: “We have excellent partners and an incredible lineup of over 80 artists which will be announced in the next couple of weeks. We’re preparing a once in a lifetime event.” I don’t know about you guys, but I wasn’t around for the first Woodstock and I am fully prepared to sell everything I own and several organs to make it to this one.
Till next time Festy Fam.
Have fun, be safe, but the original Woodstock was iconic because it was organic. Also, it was a political statement. Also, the rock music back then was much better than today.
Don’t kid yourself about Lang’s “once in a lifetime event” sales pitch. This year’s event merely shares the advertising moniker “Woodstock,” and the fact there will be lots of people. And the fact that you’re prepared to “sell everything you own” is testament to how, since 1969, Big Money has polluted the popular music landscape.