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Woodstock: The Rise Of The Counter Culture

1858 words - 7 pages

Along with the peak of several movements music began to reach a point of climax. Rock specifically began to flourish in the 1960’s, while expressing the voice of the liberated generation. It is the power of such trends that overall lead to what is known as the greatest music festival of all time: Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The festival started on August 15, 1969 on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York. Appealing to the time period, Woodstock was designed to be Three Days of Peace and Music. However, many argue that it was more than just a musical art fair of peace, but a historically significant event that shifted American culture. While some regard Woodstock as the beginning of a cultural advancement and the end of a naïve era, others view it as ridiculous hippy festival infested with illegal drug usage. Woodstock cost over $2.4 million and attracted over 450,000 people (Tiber, 1). Despite the debate of whether Woodstock produced a positive or negative effect, it is clear that a note worthy impact was made. When discussing the overall impact of Woodstock it is important to look at the influences and creative plan and the positive and negative effects produced from the festival.
Although 1969, was the end of a significant decade, it held possibilities and hope for a new prosperous 10 years. Still in the midst of what was seen to many as the most pointless American war, the young generation especially was desperate to enforce a change. Change was a common theme of the 1960’s, deriving from movements such as the civil rights movements, the second feminist wave, a social revolution, and the anti-war movement. In addition, technology in America was at one of its highest peaks. Events such as the Space Race against the Soviet Union, was opening the minds of Americans to new opportunities. Science was presenting human life with alternatives that never seemed to be possible, such as contraception and heart transplantation. As decades tend to, the 60’s profoundly effected the maturing generation, thus producing free-minded young women and men. From this liberated population came legendary social groups such as the hippie counterculture. Wesson speaks of the movement in his academic journal Psychedelic Drugs, Hippie Counterculture, Speed
and Phénobarbital Treatment of Sedative-Hypnotic Dependence: A Journey to the Haight Ashbury in the Sixties saying, “they blended Eastern mysticism, Native American rituals, and psychedelic drug use into what would variously be called the "hippie movement" or the "psychedelic drug counter- culture" (Wesson, 154). Along with other members of the peace movement, it was particularly the hippie population that overcrowded the fields of Woodstock. It was a similar population that overcrowded the streets of Chicago during the 1969 Democratic Convention. The convention resulted in several riots and police abuse causing havoc among city. Because of the expected number of young peace activists, Woodstock...

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