Our Generation's Woodstock | Teen Ink

Our Generation's Woodstock MAG

September 4, 2009
By Maren Killackey BRONZE, Medford, Oregon
Maren Killackey BRONZE, Medford, Oregon
3 articles 15 photos 2 comments

The anniversary of the legendary music festival known as Woodstock seems to have passed without much more than a reminiscent remark or sigh by many in our parents' generation. But thanks to famed director Ang Lee's movie, “Taking Woodstock,” members of our generation are starting to take more interest. At least I am. As a music lover, the thought of Woodstock makes me salivate. Imagining a “free” music fest where all my favorite bands play makes me want to abandon my cozy lifestyle, strip down to my undies, and roll around in the mud for three days, which is essentially what happened. But I'm curious: could Woodstock ever happen again?

First, a little history. In 1969 a couple of dudes in New York got together and said, “Hey, let's throw a party. We'll invite Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, a bunch of other bands, and 50,000 of our closest friends and ­family.” Or something like that. In actuality, 500,000 people showed up. And it rained. But did that stop anything? No! In fact, it added to the magnificence and (to use a cliché) “grooviness” of the event. ­Attendees (who were not much older than we are) gathered to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” They turned on their sensitivity to the world, tuned in to their environment and subconscious, and dropped out of conventional, mainstream society.

I know, I know. Just a bunch of hippie mumbo-jumbo laced with LSD, right? I think not. True, there were drugs at Woodstock, but illegal substances aside, the music festival provided an escape, an outlet for struggling young adults to cope with their wacky world. Woodstock was essentially a three-day adolescent convention that gave people a sense of belonging.

So what do we have? As a member of the generation born around the 1990s, I cannot think of one unifying experience. Yes, we're still young, therefore we still have time to “bond,” but I'll reiterate my question: could Woodstock ever happen again? In short, no, for ­several reasons.

Despite all our parents' complaining, they had something we don't seem to have anymore: time. It seems like most teens today are playing sports, studying for some standardized test, or doing homework nonstop. During summer, there are camps, internships, college visits, travel. Spare time is for sleeping and eating, not driving for hours and hours to some concert.

Next, funding. The expense of putting on a big show like that today would be substantial. Corporate sponsors would be an unfortunate necessity. But could you envision Jimi Hendrix playing his famous rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the AT&T VIP stage “co-sponsored by Starbucks and Nike”? I don't think that would be too consistent with the image of Woodstock or the philosophy of dropping out of mainstream society.

So say we had the money and the time. Who would play? Woodstock featured 32 awesome, well-known bands who had an intense impact on youth culture. Who've we got? The Jonas Brothers? Beyoncé? Miley Cyrus? Kanye West? I'm sorry, but if their music ­reflects the mythos of our generation, it's a pretty sad story.

Well, so that's that. We're a hopeless, dispassionate group doomed to forever seek a space that provides us with a sense of belonging more meaningful than Facebook or MySpace. Music festivals will be for hipsters, and by the time we're 20 the most culturally significant event we attended will have been a stop on the Jonas Brothers' world tour.

Or we can chose to break out of the mold that is slowly beginning to form us. We can exercise outdoors, read a book by somebody who died 200 years ago, or volunteer for an organization whose work is important to us. Maybe Woodstock is a silly example, but the point is, how are we going to figure out who we are? The world, according to scientific data, is three billion years old. That's a lot of zeros. The average human lifespan? About 80 or 90 years. That's not much time in comparison. Let's make it worthwhile and put our mark on this planet's history. And a blowout party certainly wouldn't hurt either.

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This article has 41 comments.

on Sep. 30 2012 at 8:56 am
fandomsandfouettes BRONZE, Carmel, Indiana
1 article 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Even if things end up a bit too heavy, float on" -Float On by Modest Mouse

Pitchfork music festival is a pretty amazing experience if you ever go :)

on Apr. 10 2012 at 12:51 pm
ShelbyMarie SILVER, Norwalk, Iowa
8 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." Voltaire

I completely agree. I go to Warped Tour looking for the same experience and acceptance that was so common at Woodstock, and its hard to find. Sure, you're there with people who want the same acceptance, but it isn't the same. Warped goes around the country, so you don't get everyone in the same place, and the cost prevent many people from going. The sponsored stages and booths everywhere do take away from the feeling of freedom. I don't know anyone of the bands personally, but from interviews i've seen, I'm sure many of them would be happy to be a part of something like that. Our generation needs to be known for something more than obesity and facebook.

OrenK PLATINUM said...
on Feb. 15 2012 at 9:28 pm
OrenK PLATINUM, Flushing, New York
21 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"My teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said happy. She said I didn't understand the assignment. I said she didn't understand life."- John Lennon

There are actually plenty of great bands that aren't well known to society. You could have Coldplay, The Black Keys and.. well... underground bands :). The thing is people don't take initiative because of all this technology. We get lazy

KatsK DIAMOND said...
on Feb. 15 2012 at 8:42 pm
KatsK DIAMOND, Saint Paul, Minnesota
57 articles 0 photos 301 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.
~Hans Hofmann
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

I agree. As one of my teachers said, we don't really know who we are as a generation, it's too soon for that. "The Facebook generation"? Nah, too motivational. Yeah, practically all of our "music artists" just make the same songs, with different words about love and nightclubs and _______ (fill-in the uninspiring blank). Woodstock would be a cool thing to do.

on Nov. 8 2011 at 6:32 pm
♥♫music4ever25♥♫, Phoenix, Arizona
0 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars! :)

lawlz. if only. my extent of website making is my tumblr....

EnderWiggin said...
on Nov. 4 2011 at 1:27 pm
EnderWiggin, Pittsfield, Maine
0 articles 0 photos 21 comments
Brilliant. Got any website-making abilities?

EnderWiggin said...
on Nov. 4 2011 at 1:26 pm
EnderWiggin, Pittsfield, Maine
0 articles 0 photos 21 comments
And that had such an amazing turnout.

EnderWiggin said...
on Nov. 4 2011 at 1:25 pm
EnderWiggin, Pittsfield, Maine
0 articles 0 photos 21 comments
Cynical and true.

EnderWiggin said...
on Nov. 4 2011 at 1:21 pm
EnderWiggin, Pittsfield, Maine
0 articles 0 photos 21 comments
So you want revolution, but you're not a leader? You and millions of others.

on Jul. 3 2011 at 10:39 pm
Thoreau420 SILVER, Martinsburg, West Virginia
7 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is its destruction." - Bob Marley

I hear you man, I wish I was in the 70's. I want a Woodstock moment so badly, but I'm so afraid it will never happen. The issue is, we need something to rebel against. Woodstock had Vietnam, then again, we have the unjust war in Iraq, but I saw no rebels, no marches, I just saw a bunch of impressionable idiots saying eitheir "Terrorists are bad" or "War isn't good" I want my revolution, means I'll probably have to organize it then.

on Jun. 4 2011 at 11:54 am
americanteen97 SILVER, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
8 articles 0 photos 79 comments
and get coldplay. they are an amazing band that...if you just listen they are wow.

Jessica M. said...
on Feb. 17 2011 at 8:30 pm
good luck. now that i think about it, it wouldn't be hard to have a day dedicated to good times and great music. And i don't belive that all modern artists are horrible, i love Plain White T's and Owl City and Eliza Doolittle, and am not ashamed to say it, but I also shamelesly love The Beatles and Queen and ELO (Electric Light Orchestra). And why does it need to be with a bunch of strangers? Why can't we just pool some money to get a spacy place to use for a day or two and party with every person we know with true music blasting from a big amp? It will never be the same at all, but hey, sounds like something worth trying.

on Jan. 25 2011 at 7:54 pm
untamedwritten SILVER, Idaho Falls, Idaho
5 articles 4 photos 6 comments
honestly it woodn,t be that hard. all it takes is a little time and effort.i think i'll give it a try.

on Nov. 21 2010 at 9:34 am
SkyDeer PLATINUM, Mebane, North Carolina
20 articles 19 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
Respect the nerds, they will be your boss someday- The Computer Guy.
The best is yet to come and baby won't it be fine- A band.
Defiant is the best word in the dictionary!

I wish woodstock could happen again. I love old music and personally think new music is junk! We just need to be kids.

Ryn11 BRONZE said...
on Nov. 8 2010 at 4:17 pm
Ryn11 BRONZE, Oak Harbor, Ohio
1 article 3 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To be great is to be misunderstood"

Well said!  I've been thinking about that too lately- every generation but ours seems to have some sort of unconventional group but what do we have?  Our generation lacks a cause, we stand for nothing and that's going to hurt us in the future

zanay BRONZE said...
on Sep. 2 2010 at 12:44 pm
zanay BRONZE, Van Nuys, California
4 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

You've taken my exact words out of my brain and wrote thwm down more eloquently tahn I could. Thanks.

Azalea27 said...
on Aug. 30 2010 at 7:58 pm
Great Idea :)

Azalea27 said...
on Aug. 30 2010 at 7:56 pm
I am bittersweet about this article, reason being because: (on the good side) it makes me feel like there are other people like me who wish there was another Woodstock festival for our generation. (And on the sad side) makes me realize (even though in the back of my head I already knew) that it will never happen. Another reason I think I must've gotten stuck in the wrong generation.

on Aug. 30 2010 at 10:46 am
PearlWhiteNight BRONZE, No, Pennsylvania
3 articles 7 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." -Mark Twain

thats not toally true. though a lot of famous singers these days are "bad" and just actors trying to make more money, but a lot of singers these days are respectable and have meaningful songs.

br123 said...
on Aug. 15 2010 at 10:40 pm
I love this article. This is everything I believe in and it would be incredible for there to be another concert similar to Woodstock.