how would this country respond to another woodstock today?
February 3, 2006 8:41 PM   Subscribe

could this country withstand a woodstock today? what would be the public reaction? how about law enforcement and government officials?
posted by brandz to Society & Culture (13 answers total)
It seems to withstand burning man just fine, one year after another.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:14 PM on February 3, 2006

This country has withstood several wars (including a rather nasty civil one), natural disasters and a Great Depression. I don't think a fucking concert has a chance.
posted by frogan at 9:26 PM on February 3, 2006

could this country withstand a woodstock today?

Or rather, could this country create a Woodstock today?

posted by StickyCarpet at 9:49 PM on February 3, 2006

Don't count on that frogan.

I think ROU_Xenophobe has it. Well, a concert organised exactly like Woodstock probably wouldn't happen today. There wouldn't be people motivated enough to put it together and attend, and it wouldn't be approved in any way, and people are so legalistic now days, no sense of rebellion to stick it to the man and hold it anyway. That doesn't have much to do with whether the country could withstand it though. However, events like burning man are probably quite comparable in other ways, and they do just fine without destroying too much of the fabric of society.
posted by Jimbob at 9:51 PM on February 3, 2006

What the heck is so special about Woodstock that it would be an issue? Burning Man or pre-Katrina New Orleans Mardi Gras make Woodstock look tepid. (Sha Na Na?) Seattle has huge pot fests every year and it doesn't even make the news. If it weren't for Charles Schulz, no one would remember Woodstock today, and it will be forgotten in fifty years when the Boomers die.
posted by commander_cool at 10:02 PM on February 3, 2006

I object to the question, your honor. The wording "withstand" suggests that a concert is somehow damaging to the social fabric of the nation. While the first Woodstock has managed to embody certain myths about the era, it was more important in retrospect than it was at the time.

If you watch the movie Woodstock you get some idea of the clusterfuck of planning and execution the concert was. Really, it was a miracle it wasn't worse. But it was basically up to 500,000 kids from the New York area up on a weekend, neither some kind of magical faery-land that turned them all into hippies, nor an example of the violence and chaos that had characterized the year before ('68, with its assassinations, riots and protests) and turned them all into militant Black Panthers.

The concert that really shocked people was Altamont. But even that was nothing compared to next year's Kent State. Seriously, as social disorder goes, Woodstock was small potatoes.
posted by dhartung at 10:45 PM on February 3, 2006

JazzFest, every year.
posted by justgary at 11:21 PM on February 3, 2006

Big concert festivals happen all the time. Bonaroo happens every year, and it's huge.

However, the "big concert festival thing" has been done and done and done, and really it was only new in the 60's. If Woodstock happened today, I doubt that anybody would notice except for fans of the bands that played there, and the locals who would sell them beer and candy bars when they come into town.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:56 PM on February 3, 2006

The Oregon Country Fair is another one of those multi-band-multi-day-alterna-hippy-concert festivals. It's now on it's 37th year and seems to be going strong. It becomes the fourth largest city in Oregon when it takes place.
posted by Staggering Jack at 9:32 AM on February 4, 2006

Which Woodstock, the 1969 original or one of the two late nineties versions?
posted by fixedgear at 2:03 PM on February 4, 2006

I went to Bonnaroo two years ago. 80,000 people camping out on a farm in Tennessee for three days, lots of drugs, no visible cops, mud, jam bands, etc. Loads of fun in ways that probably only hint at what the original Woodstock was actually like...
posted by rleamon at 8:59 PM on February 4, 2006

I'm going to agree with the majority in this rhetorical question.

I think it is the new or novel that is hardest to take or respond to. Culturally, Woodstock is the mainstream now. I think the only reason we don't see that size are the technical and financial considerations.

p.s. the spell checker suggests "bloodstock" for "woodstock" so I guess it's only so mainstream.
posted by rudyfink at 6:39 AM on February 5, 2006

There will never be another woodstock. People would be too worried of getting sued to do anything as large and ill-mananged. Plus, there will never again be the combination of: a population bubble as self-absorbed as the boomers, a mass media with the reach of network TV in the late 60s.
posted by Good Brain at 3:22 PM on February 5, 2006

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