gathered city -- Dillon Aretz
Throughout the woodstock movie, people comment on how this event has created a city with a population in the top ten cities of America. While this may be an exaggeration, it is important to note what kind of city this was. After all, the people had no food, no shelter, no work to do. All of their food had to be provided for them as though they were refugees. However, had the concert lasted any longer, the people may not have been able to stay; without people to provide for them, they were helpless. So, on the one hand, the hippies had a brilliant, spiritual idea that they were gathering for peace and harmony and to truly connect with others. But, on the other hand, the bands and the stagehands were the only ones working, so there is a definite limit to how long they could live like this. How can a city remain without people making or acquiring food?
Actually, it even becomes difficult to imagine a city without shelter; when one thinks of a city, they wouldn't consider a farm field full of people to be a city. It is the temporary, parasitic nature of the hippies that probably caused their demise. Sooner or later, they all had to fill that void within themselves, the void they'd been filling with spiritual healing and drugs, and actually put some food in there. Eventually, basic human needs that society works to provide become necessary even to those in the counterculture. The 'city' that woodstock became was the result of poor forsight and not compromising with society. It worked, but it wasn't built to last.