Thursday, March 5, 2009

Woodstock: Exploring Several Options

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the infamous Woodstock Festival, and it appears that the legend of the name "Woodstock", will get another chance to be resurrected from the disaster that was Woodstock 1999.

Nothing is confirmed yet, but they are exploring several options. Chief promoter Michael Lang is planning two free Woodstock concerts. Yeah that's right. Free. No venue is lined up for the show in New York, but it will take place on the exact days that the first one in 1969 took place on, August 15th and 16th. The other show will be held in Berlin on August 22nd and 23rd. Berlin? Okay. Why there? Not to mention this show will be held at Hitler's favorite airport!

For the Berlin show, organizers have booked several of the original performers from the show in '69, including The Who, Carlos Santana, The Dead and Joan Baez, as well as Neil Young.

They are looking to get the very same acts for the show in New York, along with Joe Cocker and Country Joe & the Fish.

My Thoughts

I think this is a great way to celebrate forty years. It just may work with the lineup they are projecting.

I think this festival happening in 2009, couldn't have come at both a better, and a worse time. It's a great time for the festival to come along because, it's been forty years since the first, and a good number of the original acts are still around, but may not be at the fifty year reunion. Get them while you still can. No question they'll do a fifty year reunion.

It's also a bad time for the festival because music festivals, in general, are at an all-time high. So many festivals. Most outside, and during the warmer months, but we're even getting a large number of acts playing cruise ships in the winter time.

Then I begin to realize that I'm not thinking realistically. The festival won't fail. It's Woodstock and it's only one year. This isn't going to be a yearly thing. Even if it was, it would still probably succeed. Would we really need it every year? Not really. We got the New Orleans Jazz Fest, Bonnaroo, Lolla, Coachella, ACL, Wakarusa, SXSW and a ton of other newer festies like Outside Lands, Rothbury, Sasquatch and Stagecoach.

It's a good thing to see them want to celebrate forty years, but it's even better that they've finally come to their senses to book the very same acts who played in '69. The lineup in '94 wasn't bad at all, and even '99 had some very nice acts. But for some reason, something happened in '99 and I just can't figure it out. I mean, I've watched the documentaries on the festival, and the VH1 Behind the Scenes look or whatever, and while I think some of it may have been certain bands, something just drove people to snap and rebel.

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