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    From a Bird’s Eye View | You Can’t Plan Spontaneity – Why the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock Failed




    by Raven West

    I was not all that surprised the 50th anniversary of Woodstock concert was cancelled.

    In 1969, what is now known as Woodstock, was originally billed as an “Aquarian Expo” (as noted in my diary entry). This was a party. It was a celebration of peace and love at a time when there was nothing but war and hate on the nightly news. This music festival was going to unite us and bring us hope that our generation was going to change the world… for the better.

    Thousands of people came together. There were only 3 accidental deaths, no fights, no shootings, no violence at all!  Thousands of people listened to great music, got stoned and drenched, loved openly and experienced joy and freedom unlike any other event before or after.

    Woodstock was a spontaneous celebration of humanity and all that we are and could become. You can’t plan spontaneity – it happens only once in a lifetime.

    We came away from the weekend with hope that anything was possible. That somehow, the thousands that came together for one wet weekend would stay together and bring that feeling of peace and love to the entire world, or at the very least to our entire country.

    It didn’t happen.

    The next entry in my diary was the same as it had been before the festival. In fact, I didn’t write anything at all until December of that year, the week I turned 16 and could drive.

    We all went back to our “regularly scheduled lives” and days later, we pretty much forgot all about Woodstock. So, is it any surprise that a 50th reunion was going to fail in today’s world? We accomplished nothing. We learned nothing.

    Vietnam became Afghanistan and Iraq. Violence against the Black community is now violence against the immigrant community. The glass ceiling has been reinforced with concrete in many sectors, including pay and the right to choose what we put into, or have come out of own bodies. Politicians are corrupt. Those in the entertainment, sports industry and religious communities are exposed as sexual predators. Mass shootings and violence against the “other” is being reported on the 24-hour news networks.

    We blame the rich for not giving more to the poor. We blame the poor for taking everything from the rich.

    For anyone to think, for one second, that the hopes and dreams of the Peace and Love generation could be re-lived, even for one day let alone an entire weekend is living in a fantasy.

    Woodstock 50 was destined to fail, because many who attended Woodstock, or were even a small part of that weekend 50 years ago became the very establishment we were fighting against!

    If anything positive came out of that time, it’s the legalization of recreational marijuana. Everyone should get high. It’s very difficult to fire a MK-47 assault rifle when you’re stoned. It’s nearly impossible to be angry at anyone for anything when you’re laughing at EVERYTHING!

    And 2019 is not, nor will it ever be 1969.

    Who knows, with a little luck and a whole lot of hope, not to mention peace and love, and hard work in another 50 years, Woodstock 2069 will be a success.


    *Note: The WILL be a 50th Anniversary celebration on the original Bethel site, but still it won’t be the same! See story: Original Woodstock Site Will Host 50th Anniversary Festivities This Weekend


    Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.Named in the TOP 50 Authors by

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