The Sixties were an exciting revolutionary period with great cultural change. Some people called it the decade of discontent (Britannica) due to the race riots in Detroit and La, and the demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Other people called it the decade of peace, love, and harmony (Woodstock 69). This decade was identified as such as a result of the peace movement and the emergence of the flower children. (Britannica) The sixties were about assassination, unforgettable fashion, new styles of music, civil rights, gay and women s liberation, Vietnam, Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, peace marches, sexual freedom, drug experimentation, and Woodstock. All of these components caused a revolutionary change in the world of popular Music and society. The most famous of the Sixties rock festivals was Woodstock music and art fair. It was held on farm property in Bethel New York on August 15-17th 1969 (Woodstock 69). Three Days of peace and music would come to define a generation. Festival organizers decided on the title Woodstock because it was where folksinger Bob Dylan and many other musicians lived in New York. It was an artists retreat since the turn of the century. People came from all around, some for the music, some for atmosphere and some just to be there. Although peace was a main theme of the concert, it was difficult to keep with a crowd of 400,000 people. Woodstock contained all six of the qualities of cultural performance, a cultural process and seen as an aesthetic event.
The first quality in the cultural performance is whether it is a scheduled event. Woodstock was a planned event however; the majority of it just fell into place for three days. The second quality is is it temporally bounded . The event was bounded by the first and last days. Next is is it spatially bounded . It contained a stage for the musicians and an area marked off for those that paid for their ticket however, during the occasion the boundaries for the ticket holders was breached. Another quality is was it programmed . Woodstock was programmed due to the line-up, or the order in which the musicians sang. The fifth quality is is this a coordinated public event . This was the main purpose for Woodstock to get people to come together to share the peace and love. The final quality is is the event heightened . Woodstock is still remembered as being three days of a concert and people coming together to enjoy good music and love.
The cultural process of Woodstock consisted of rejoicing in the different styles of music and in each individual that came. The festival included many social dramas. Individuals, in that number, are bound to have differences. Woodstock taught people, approximately 400,000, how to resolve their issues by sharing a common goal. The celebration helped to advance the ideas of peace and unity throughout the generation.
The three-day celebration was considered an aesthetic event. It was not only a concert but an art fair as well. Some works of art were seen during the event. People wore the art in the form of body paint and others drew pictures from the psychedelic drugs that were taken. Woodstock was a gathering of many that came together to take pleasure in art and its many forms.
There won t be another Elvis, and neither will there be another Woodstock. Not only are there too many laws and local ordinances nowadays, but consider the times: a social consciousness united behind a common cause that filtered it s way into the arts, and a country divided over whether we should or shouldn t be in Vietnam. The timing was right for many attendees, there were tons of kids on summer vacation looking for something to do, and they found it.
The people in my group were great. I liked meeting and forming a united group. All of us were committed to making this presentation the best it could be. The toughest part of our script was finding actual commentary from Woodstock. At first, we thought finding quotes from Woodstock would be hard, but then Shawna found a message board where people shared their experiences from the festival. I found a website that had quotes from some of Janis s interviews which worked into the script perfectly. I really liked the openness we shared and the choosing of our characters. It was hard for us to meet as much as we wanted due to our varying schedules, but we managed through phone calls and late night meetings. In the beginning, a few of the group members did not adhere to the seriousness of our performance and making it the best we could. After a few missed meetings, they calmed down and began working and providing great ideas. I would have to say that the late night meetings were the worst part. Each of us had great ideas for the performance. I would say if I had to do something differently, I would choose to have scheduled meetings that all of us could stick to. I realize people have to work, but accommodations should be made. In addition, I would have the script as the first thing done instead of waiting until a week before it was finished. Overall, though, I felt this was a great learning experience for me. I have gotten to know four people from different backgrounds and opinions, which coincide with the theme at Woodstock, love one another .
Encyclopedia Britannica vol. 23
The Woodstock 69 Page
http://home.columbus.rr.com/woodstock1969/index.htm April 27, 2001
Welcome to Woodstock
http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/3869/woodstock.html April 27, 2001