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Reflection of Woodstock as a Cultural Event

Let The Good Times Go Bad

In 1969 the first Woodstock took place. Those were the good old days when the music festival was full of good music, love, and sharing. Wake up call… In 1999 another Woodstock was held; this time it was not full of love and sharing at all. All it has been shown to be is a party full of rape, drugs, and a bad recreation of a good thing. Looking at the numerous differences there are very few similarities one being the name of the event. Through this small happening in our history, Woodstock shows how much our society has changed in just 30 mind-boggling years.

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The people of Woodstock 69 are remembered to be dirty, smelly, and just straightforward, upfront hippy. When town’s people heard about the event about to reach the town there were many mixed feelings about the people on their way, but the people were coming anyway. “ The sticky sweet smell of burning marijuana wafted into the open window of a house in Bethel late one Thursday night. The chirp and buzz of the insects suddenly gave way to the shuffle of

Sandaled feet (, 1).” “It sounded like a parade said a resident (, 1).” An observer quoted “I thought they were hippy scum- but you couldn’t help but feel sorry for the kids” (, 2). The owner of a store nearby feared robbers would take all the money the store was raking in from the sale of beer, soda, and peanut butter and jelly. But his worries were groundless. “ They were dirty, but they were nice. A few wee on happy drugs, but that was nothing,” said the store owner, who even cashed a couple of dozen checks for some kids who ran out of money. Not one bounced. (, 4).

The townspeople were making unfair judgments of the people and were vastly proved wrong. All age groups attended Woodstock babies, young children, teenagers, parents, and yes-even grandparents attended this music event. The event of Woodstock attracted one mainstream of people. Yes, you guessed it, Hippies. Although many people feared this “subculture”, they were in the end found to be harmless.

The people of Woodstock 99 were much different than those of the 69 celebrations. A columnist of a local newspaper quotes “ You don’t have a rock festival based on peace and love and invite Kid Rock and Insane Clown Posse” (, 1). Out of common sense, anyone would know a different crowd would be drawn this year. Before the people arrived in beat-up colourfully decorated VW vans, this year the people arrived in anything from BMW’s to low riding gangster mobiles (, 1).

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This time, only most age groups attended the festival instead of all. Though there were few infants and children they were there one woman was rushed to the hospital to deliver the newest member of the Woodstock Nation (, 2). This year instead of attracting the long gone hippies, this time every type of person came to hear the widely diverse music. This was not a good thing says Daniel Rubin, a writer at Knight Ridder Newspapers he wrote “ Nothing unifies everyone, so there is something musical for all.

The girl with-guitar poetry of Jewel, the white heat of Metallica, and the anger rock of Korn, and the hip-hop cool of Wyclef Jean. But a Metallica fan and a Jewel fan want nothing to do with each other. And in fact, Metallica fans want to hurt Jewel fans, and Wyclef fans want to kill Metallica fans” (, 1). This time the people and music were various, resulting in predictions of big problems.

What went on at Woodstock 69 were none different than those still talked about today. Drugs and seemed to be ordinary. One Woodstock Gower was reported to have asked an officer about bringing in drugs, the officer replied “ there are going to be so many drugs around, we are not going to be able to keep track of it (, 3) so drugs were widespread. Probably every drug known to man in 1969 was at that party, the most common were marijuana and acid. Medics at Woodstock had brought a bottle of Thorazine, an antipsychotic drug to counteract bad trips. Before Saturday that bottle was gone probably because the drug that could stop a trip could also cause a trip

(, 2). The music at this festival was all-around good according to the people of the time. Jefferson Airplane, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater, Santana, and of course The Grateful Dead were just some of the countless great bands that played. Woodstock 69 had a theme “Vietnam, peace, love and sharing”. The people of this festival shared everything from food to sometimes-even partners. Camping situations were very difficult there was no space from all of the people not to mention mud was everywhere. Woodstock 69 turned out to be a free for all concert although some did pay, what started out to be “ behind schedule” turned out to be “ what are we going to tell all of these people.” Producer Lang woke up Friday morning to find that something was missing…

The ticket booths. Others had known for days but Lang said that Friday morning was his first inkling that Woodstock would never collect a single dollar at the gate. The story was all they could move out of two dozen was two, because of too many people and cars and abandoned tents blocking the way (, 1).

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At about noon, Babb’s and Wavy Gravy watched as a dozen guys in orange jackets started walking up to the rise. They carried change boxes and were nearing the fence border.” They said we’re the ticket-takers, and now we want everyone to walk out and come back in,” Babb’s said. “Man you have got to be kidding me. There are 200,000 people in there.”’ So the head of security guy says to me “ there is no way we’re going to be able to get these tickets.

What do you want to do?” They had like, a doublewide section of fence that was open for the gate. So Wavy and I said the only thing to do is take down the fence. So we did and the people came pouring in (, 3) An observer said this about the subject, “ They got sucked into this carte blanche. Nobody said anything about reservations, tickets. They just came. You couldn’t believe it. Advance sales paid, and nobody else paid a nickel. They paid with pain, hunger, and exposure, or whatever. ( 2). This music festival will always be embedded in everyone’s brain because of its remarkable memories. Dr William Abruzzi, the festival’s chief medical officer said as everyone left “ There has been no violence whatsoever these people are really beautiful”(, 1)

Woodstock 99 however was a much different story ending in a much different way with many bad memories for many. The drugs were the only thing the two had in common besides the name Woodstock. The music was very diverse, playing this time instead of the trippy sounds of Jimmy Hendrix, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Wyclef Jean, and techno artist Moby took over this scene. David Bauder and associated press writer wrote: “The promoters of Woodstock 99 should have anticipated problems when the festival’s more aggressive lineup played before such a big crowd”(, 1). Instead of being Woodstock, it seems more like Disneyland, a rock and roll theme park (, 1).

Besides the organized campgrounds there are 40 movies screening 24 hours a day, a sports park, nightly raves, booths to play video games, get your E-mail, tattoo your triceps or paint a body part, and much more! ( 1). That is not at all like the fun sleeping in the mud times the people at Woodstock 69 had.

The price was much different too instead of the bargain price of nothing but gas and food money it went skyrocketing up to $69.98 a ticket not mentioning the $4.00 bottle of water, and the not so friendly people. Many 69 Woodstock goers laugh. One woman said for a newspaper “ There was a lot of emotion back then the kids who are going today aren’t driven by emotion, it’s all by trends.”(, 5).

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The differences between the two are so extreme all the way down to the way it ended. There was no doctor quoting to the newspaper how beautiful this celebration was, no it ended in flames. One Newspaper article said “ Woodstock 99 ended in an ugly orgy of violence, with tractor-trailers set ablaze, vendor stands overrun, and authorities pelted with bottles. At least six victims of rape and sexual assault have come forward, and more are anticipated.” (, 1). This small happening in our history shows again how rotten our society is becoming.

In closing all of this information is just foretelling what is in store for us to come. If Woodstock shows so many changes in itself no wonder many religious figures are telling us the world is coming to an end, it is, we are just killing ourselves away. It seems no one has a conscience. Before people were loving, forgiving, and would share anything. Now People are greedy, selfish, and steel even from the people closest to them. Though I did not mention many of the other events that happened at the festivals, there were more good and bad at both.

At Woodstock 69 there was a rape reported (, 1), and at Woodstock 99’ there was a marriage and a lot of good people, but still, many more riots and rapes took place. Many would ask why this small music festival would foretell what’s in store for us. The truth is most small things turn bigger.

For example, the divorce rate in the fifties was very, very low, and now that we are in the nineties the divorce rate is (to be blunt) the norm. So this small happening is foretelling our future. Woodstock did not change, the people who went to Woodstock changed. This small event in our history is painting a scary picture for the future. If the people in our society have changed so much in 30 mind-boggling years, what’s next..

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Reflection of Woodstock as a Cultural Event. (2021, Feb 08). Retrieved March 27, 2023, from