Woodstock: the expense of politics

May 7, 2013

By Olga Alentyeva

Hall Monitor Olga Alentyeva Issaquah                High School

Hall Monitor
Olga Alentyeva
Issaquah High School

I am a person who is interested in many things — science, art, hockey — the list is long and arbitrary. Two interests that I tend to prize are politics and music, and rarely do they ever come together and work as a pair.

They interact, they disagree with each other, they try to get rid of each other, but sometimes they end up creating an historical event such as Woodstock. The music project had political significance. Apart from the “sex-drugs-rock and roll-hippie” counter-culture of the 1960s, Woodstock had more problems.

One of its top complications was social class. With the lower class generally at war, the culture of Woodstock was said to consist of middle class white kids just hanging out, claiming they stood for peace. The location of the event repeatedly changed, which caused musicians and concessions to back out at the last minute.

The end of Woodstock left the organizers with over $1 million in debt and 70 lawsuits. They planned for an audience of 50,000 and ended up with 500,000 people. Because they were not prepared, finding businesses to help them out with food and supplies for the newcomers was difficult to do, because so many of them were against the purpose and spirit of Woodstock.

Although the music festival provided the organizers with an extremely successful film that brought it an incredible amount of money, the profits still left them with $100,000 in debt. Woodstock 1969, three (leading into four) days of peace and music, left the nation to reconsider social norms and look into other political viewpoints. Apart from that, it was just a remarkable music festival that elevated artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Santana to stardom.

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