The perceived as “radicals” anymore, they were “peace


The lasting effects of the Woodstock are many and significant
to the present-day. Woodstock was an unquestionably provoking event in the
music of the time. Woodstock was an accumulation of the frustrations of the
American people who opposed that war, and all the other violent events
happening during that period. Due to the high opposition of the American people
against the war, the United States eventually retracted from the war.

Woodstock’s impact on America’s culture and society as well
as its youth will not be forgotten for many years to come. In retrospect, the
Woodstock concert transformed the world, with hippie thoughts of flower power
and harmony carried through music and the bonding that happened. During the
time of the Vietnam War, the hippie’s anti-war principles were frowned upon. Conversely,
after Woodstock happened, people were less hasty to dismiss the pacific ideas
of the hippies. Hippies were not perceived as “radicals” anymore, they were “peace
makers” In the eyes of the American people. (“The History of Woodstock”). The
way of life in America changed, policies were changed and music became a means
of expression.

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A former promoter from Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, Kenny
Weissenberg said “The music, the sharing, and the collective zeitgeist were all
life changing.” Weissenberg went on by saying “Even though I was only 21, I
came Away from that weekend profoundly aware that anything was possible. From
Woodstock on, I embraced the idea of taking chances and following all musical
dreams. Three Days at Woodstock crystalized my life’s path.” (2014 “Woodstock
reassessed”) Another Woodstock Veteran, Carlos Santana claimed that the concert
was “Magical” and a “Once-in-a-lifetime thing to be a part of.” (2014 “Woodstock
reassessed”) A history professor from the University of Indiana mentions that
“It really did mark a change” and he also mentioned that “This was an insanely
political event which was why it was remembered.” (2009, “Woodstock”) Woodstock
has been known as the start and end of an era and a gathering that has come to
represent a period of counterculture.

In the summer of 1969, hundreds of thousands of people congregated
on a farm in upstate New York for the now legendary Woodstock music and arts
fair. Leading and emerging performers at the time played over the course of
four days. Some of those artist were Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin and
many more. Originally intended to be an event to make enough money to build a
recording studio near the town of Woodstock, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie
Kornfield and Michael Lang had no idea that this gathering would turn into the
biggest anti-war and peace gathering ever. These men who sponsored the concert,
where promoting it as “Three Days of Peace and Music” in the underground press,
magazines like the Village Voice and Rolling stone. The concert promoters
figured that if they incorporated the word “Peace” into their slogan it would
link the anti-war feeling to the rock concert. (1994, “How Woodstock happened…”
 The concert began on August 15 and over
100,000 were sold prior to the festival, but they became unnecessary as hordes
of people headed to the concert grounds to take part in this historic and pacific
happening. Those three days of peace, amid chaos and disorganization really was
a way of acting out a kind of lifestyle protest against the wars,
assassinations and the whole violent side of the 60’s. The gathering was all
about “making love, not war.” For some of the people who attended the concert,
it was a way of escaping the “chaos” going on in America and turned into a life
changing experience.

So what led to Woodstock? The American people heavily
opposed the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. At that time, the
country was heavily divided with the issues of the war in Vietnam being very
prominent in society. One factor that divided the nation was Nixon’s war
policies. According to the article from the History Channel, In December of
1969, the government passed the first lottery since World War II, stirring
large amount of controversy causing many young men to leave America to avoid
recruitment. The war in Vietnam was taking its toll and seemed to be never
ending, gaining more and more opposition in America. With hundreds of troops
being sent overseas and the death tolls rising to the millions, the American
people were tired of the violence that consumed the Nation. The history channel
article mentioned that the war was “long, costly, and divisive conflicts that
pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its
principal ally the United States.” (2009, “Vietnam War”) At this point in
American History tensions ran higher than ever and people started showing their
disagreement to the war by spurred on demonstrations of peace and others in
violence in opposition of the war.

“Something was tapped, a nerve, in this country. And
everybody just came.”(1994, “How Woodstock happened…”) In August of 1969, Woodstock,
the “grooviest” music and art festival took place on a farm in Bethel, New
York. (2009, “Woodstock Music Festival Concludes”) Over half a million attended
a 600 acre farm to listen to live music and be “free.” (1994, “How Woodstock
happened…”) During the three day festival lovers, hippies, flower children and
beatniks gathered there for different reasons. Woodstock tapped a nerve like
the article on the website mentioned, there are several explanations why this
festival came about, what it represented, and how it changed the nation.

Three Days of Grace


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