Woodstock was and is a fundamental part of the 60's and will forever be in the minds and hearts of those who call themselves the hippies. Woodstock was originally slated to be three days of music and peace but it has been carried on since 1969 never losing its favor. Woodstock has long been credited with being the height of the swinging sixties and carrying the philosophy into the seventies. Woodstock was the perfect finale to the swinging sixties and an event to solidify a lifestyle for the people who called themselves hippies.
Woodstock took place in Bethel New York on August 15, 16, and 17th to spread music and peace to all those who wished to come and listen. The event was a huge draw for hippies who wanted to spread their lifestyle and philosophy of free love and gain followers for their protests against the government and corporate establishments. With the final act the swinging sixties were over, but the hippies carried their free love and protests well into the seventies.
Some of the greatest rock bands worldwide performed at Woodstock. Many of the bands were not just one hit wonders looking for a gig. Some well-known people like Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Sha-na-na, Janis Joplin, Creedance Clearwater Revival, The Who, Grateful Dead, and Santana were some of the big acts, a sort of musical score of the time. The musical arrangements and lyrics of these singers and songwriters were the pulse of the swinging sixties.
Woodstock happened at a time where rebellious youth loved to come together and throw out traditional morals, and the music just added to the frenzy. A San Francisco columnist named Herb Caen is the one who first gave the name "hippies" to the rebellious youth and the term just sort of stuck. Many hippies called themselves neo-hippies or freaks to draw attention to their protests or causes against the government, corporate industry, traditional morals, the Vietnam war, and religion to name just a few. While "hippie" later carried a negative connotation, it was once something that defined a whole subculture of people. And, it still is!
Even though the original Woodstock is long gone there are still hippies living a hippie lifestyle. Free love and a nomadic life are still common among these people, as are transforming traditional morals, and government protest. Hippies continue to live a non-traditional life bringing children into their lifestyle, promising to bring the sixties to generation after generation. Some look at the hippie lifestyle as odd, but for others it works and is a lifeline to a better tomorrow. Like everyone else, hippies just want to extend themselves to make the world a better place.
The music industry has tried to recreate the magic of Woodstock, but the enchantment of the swinging sixties and the prevalence of the hippies isn't what it once was. The original Woodstock cannot be recreated because times have changed, as have the people and the music. While the sixties were marked with a rebellious youth, there was a beauty about the time that came together on three days and nights in August, and that was Woodstock.