The Woodstock Festival of 1969 Essay
The Woodstock Festival of 1969
For the writer of this article, Woodstock was initially “a rock music festival which has threatened to choke itself with an influx of more than 300,000 persons” that turned peaceful and “controlled” (News Dispatches, 1969) . Along the length of the article, the writer was very much intent on describing the many facets of problems that came up during the event. Vis-a-vis these, however, were narrations of how the problems were dealt with accordingly and how the otherwise chaotic incidents or disasters turned into a display of “control” from the part of the police, the promoters, and the participants.
For one, the writer almost started the article with a description of how the traffic and health problems were “massive. ” It was said that roads that have been closed on Friday were reopened because participants showed the insistence to come to the Festival in the form of leaving their cars some miles away from the concert site to walk towards where the event is being held.
Problems of “delay-proof transportation” have also been discussed on account of helicopters being the only means to quick transport, and the said copters being almost filled with the much needed medical supplies for injured and sick participants when they come, and of sick people who need hospital medication when they depart (News Dispatches, 1969). Accounts of accidental death, dysentery cases, crowd-sustained injuries, and drug related cases were also narrated to reflect the intensity of the problems that occured in the event.
So were problems in accommodation, or the lack of it, and the townspeople’s overcharging of commodity prices such as that of water and cigarettes were reported. However, what was remarkable in how the writer portrayed the event was how he narrated the display of “control” by all the concerned people over the said quandaries. How the police kept their “cool” in terms of arresting drug traffickers and dealing with the crowd. How the medical officers took charge of the situation and gave sufficient medical attention to all who were in need of them.
How the performers came and rocked on despite unexpected circumstances and delays. How the promoters dealt with the overwhelming and unexpected influx of hundred thousand participants and with the danger of being unable to collect any receipts on of account of the said participants attending the event without buying tickets. How the townspeople took advantage of the participants but turned benevolent towards them in the end. And how the participating youth displayed “a spirit of camaraderie in the midst of adversity” (News Dispatches, 1969).
In the end, the seeming message of the article was that Woodstock, although pestered with the problems that the people of America pre-conceived, had been a display of success over the odds by means of “control” through the unified efforts of everyone that was involved. And partly, it was an expression of amazement that such “order” could be achieved when “every kid in the world” unites. A. What America Thought of the Event Plainly, the article reflected how America initially thought the event to be an impending disaster.
This is explained implicitly by the idea of 300,000 people, especially because these people were the “youth,” converging in a single event. Aside from the preconceived and primarily proven expectation that whenever the youth come together, there would be rapes, robberies, and lots of fighting, such a large event was also expected to face problems of food and water shortages, and consequently, epidemics. It could be imagined that the prevailing mood of the American public over the event at the tine was that of worry and suspicions of how a pack of 300,000 youths would behave, when just a small crowd of youths already meant “disorder.
” Aside from this, it should be noted that much of this suspicious American public was composed of the youths parents. Thus, aside from the suspicion of how their children would behave was the concern about how their children would be treated and given the proper amenities and accommodation for three days. A clear cut manifestation of the said impression from majority of the Americans were the constant warnings over the airwaves of the probable epidemics and supply shortages that would happen in the event, and State Assemblyman Stella’s appearance on the said event due to his constituents concern over the matter .
That was the extent and intensity of the worry of the general American public over the event, leading them to resort to political actions. As for the residents of the town, initially they thought of the event as a bad thing. It is easy to imagine how people would react if 300,000 youths (which actually turned out to be more than 500,000 at the event’s peak) were said to come to their once peaceful dwelling places to party. As proof of this line of thought, they jeered the participants as they arrived during Friday (Aug. 15, 1969) and virtually took advantage of the participants by selling overpriced water and cigarettes .
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 May 2017