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Woodstock Music Festival Essay

2089 words - 8 pages

In 1970 a two-hundred and thirty minute documentary was released entitled "Woodstock." This documentary has set the standard for other documentaries to come. This documentary covers a three day festival that was held in August of 1969. The festival symbolized the ideas of the late 1960’s in terms of music, politics, and society in general. The documentary depicted the event as a major love and drug fest.
Woodstock was a historic event that was the idea of four men by the names of Michael Lang, John Roberts, Joel Roseman, and Artie Kornfeld. Two of the men, Roberts and Roseman, placed an ad in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal stating "Young men with unlimited capital looking for interesting, legitimate investment opportunities and business propositions" (Spitz, 1979, 13). This ad resulted in the four men getting together and discussing the possibility of a retreat-like recording studio in Woodstock, New York. As we all know now, the idea blew up into a festival that was portrayed in the Academy Award winning documentary "Woodstock."
The concept of a documentary arose when the men made an offer to Warner Brothers to make a movie about the upcoming event. Kornfeld asked Warner Brothers for $100,000 to allow them to do the movie. Warner Brothers took them up on the offer because they felt "it could have either sold millions or, if there were riots, be one of the best documentaries ever made" (How Woodstock happened, 1994).
The Woodstock rock concert was described as "a symptomatic event of our time that showed the tremendous hunger, need, yearning for community on the part of the youth" (Big Woodstock, 1969, 17). If you really want to understand why "Woodstock" happened, you must know more about the time period in which this documentary was made. The 1960’s decade was the beginning of rock and roll and many describe it as being a decade of moral decline. The youth of this time were known as the “love generation” and they were called Hippies. Many people felt that the hippie generation had very inappropriate ideals. They dressed in shabby clothes and felt this was sort of a symbol of their freedom. A hippie’s typical dress was faded jeans, worn tee shirts, and beads around their neck. Typically their hair was long and would be pulled back in a bandanna.
The decade of the hippies symbolized peace, love, and harmony. It was not uncommon to see hippies openly make love and they believed in open marriages. Many of them lived in communal living quarters and they would have weekend love fests. The hippie movement of the 60’s neared its peak in 1967. It was estimated that there were approximately 300,000 followers of the hippie movement by this time. The hippie movement was centered in San Francisco, California. It was common to see groups of them just sitting around the streets and playing their guitars. Rock festivals were held in response to this love movement.
The hippie’s peace movement...

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