Lauren Kolsum on Woodstock
Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and music showed how great of a difference one generation could make between the youth and adults of the late sixties. The adults in the film were protrayed as grumpy stubborn elders while the kids at the festival were depicted as reckless radicals. The elders seemed too uptight to appreciate the groundbreaking event, including the loud music and especially the crazy kids.
The townspeople saw the festival only for its destruction and inconvenience. One man claimed the Woodstock's attendees were trespasssing on his property, while another was angry because the milkman would not be able to get through and his milk would spoil. Yet another elderly couple were bickering with the camera man, saying the festival was a shitty and disgraceful mess. The adults were most likely dissapointed of their younger generation. they probably would have even denied their teenage years, the time in their lives where they could have potentially related to the crazy teenagers parked up and down their streets.
The young people took a drastically different take on the festival and life in general. It was a peaceful get together, which just happened to turn into a gathering of a staggering half million kids. They didn't see it as a "shitty mess" but as a celebration of music, peace, love, and drugs, everything that defined their lives. The fact that the festival turned into a disaster area, and stopped one of New York's major freeways was of no significance to the kids at woodstock. Their only response was that it was "far out."
The Woodstock attendees had interesting views of life and how they fit into society as a whole. The kids accepted labels and stereotypes thrown on their age group. They don't mind being called freaks, straying from the views and beliefs of their rigid parents was most likely a conscious attempt. They were so much more free and hopeful of what lied ahead of them then the elders. Some were free enough to make love in a flowery field in close proximity to the concert ground, not caring who saw. Such a sight was most likely nothing out of the ordinary, sex was natural. Just taking that part out of context is something to think about. You see, if the couple had sex in a different location, say on the bitter old couple's front lawn, it would have been deeply unaccepted by the community. The festival created its own community where anything went, nothing could have been too outrageous.
The music itself created a voice of the youth. It must have felt so liberating for them to hear, along with thousands of others, messages of rebellion against the government and war. It lgave them power in letting them know they weren't alone in their beliefs.
Most of the kids had no idea where they were going in life but they had no problem with that. Not knowing what lied ahead for them was just another adventure, much like that of the festical. all they needed was dope, friends, and music and they were unstoppable. I recall the young girl who had no plans whatsoever accept to get to the festival. She had no money, no ticket, and had bummed a ride from a guy she had met a few months ago to get there. That was very similar to the thinking of all the other people at Woodstock. The point was to live in the moment, to experience life here and now. Their future was of no real importance, they would just go with the flow once they got there.