Woodstock:A Peacful Rock Revolution

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Woodstock:A Peacful Rock Revolution

Woodstock: A Peaceful Rock Revolution
To some, the 60s were a decade of discovery as Americans first journeyed to the moon. Others remember the time as a decade of America’s moral decline with the advent of rock and roll and its representation of sinful, inappropriate ideals. Yet for many people, the 60s symbolized a decade of love and harmony. Hippies exemplified these beliefs, and in 1969 they gathered at a music festival known as Woodstock to celebrate their music, their love, and their freedom in a concert that has remained on of the most influential events of the 60s.
The youth of the 60s were known as the Love generation. They made love promiscuously and openly, and preferred open to formal marriages. Weekend love-ins, free form gatherings, communal living quarters, and rock festivals were held in response to the love movement. The love movement was the hippie belief for peace and harmony. It reached its peak in the summer of 1967, and by then it had over 300,000 followers who referred to themselves as the love children or the gentle people. They gathered in San Francisco, the hippie center of the world, during the summers. During these Summers of love, they lived on the streets of Haight-Ashbury, sitting in groups along the street and strumming their guitars (Frike 62).
These love children, otherwise known as the hippies were the result of the antiwar
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movement that was sweeping the nation during the Vietnam war. Hippies were resolutely against the war. They participated loudly, and often violently in countless anti-war protest rallies and marches. They were known to publicly burn draft cards, and some even renounced military service for prison (Hertsgard 124).
Hippies were not only antiwar, they were predominantly antiestablishment. The status symbols of their elders were decisively rejected: wealth, social position, culture, physical attractiveness, and economic security. They held in disdain, cosmetics, expensive jewelry, nightclubs and restaurants and all other refinements of the affluent society. Wealth meant nothing to them. Personal freedom to express oneself was believed to be the most important thing in life. They were antiauthority, antirace discrimination, and antipollution, in short they were rebels against the society, fighting against the moral standards of America they felt were unjust (Hertsgard 153).
Events such as rock concerts soon became a platform against the repressive government and accepted morals. Such events provided opportunities to express their resentment. The rock concert of Woodstock was a prime example. It was described by psychoanalyst Rollo May as a symptomatic event of our time that showed the tremendous hunger, need, yearning for community on the part of the youth(The Big Woodstock 17). Rock concerts of the 60s had become the equivalent of a political forum for the young for the expression of political ideas, the spirit of community and awareness of the world around.
Woodstock was a celebration of joy which wiped out, at least temporarily, the persistent feelings of meaninglessness that permeate our culture This concert, held in Bethel, New York, in
August of 1969, has become a symbol of the 60s. It is a symbol of the hippie culture embodied in
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the youth of the time. This concert was the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Billed by its youthful
Manhattan promoters as An Aquarian Exposition, it promised music, peace, and great rock and roll. By a conservative estimate, more than 400,000 people, the vast majority of them between the ages of 16 and 30, showed up for the Woodstock festival. Thousands more would come if police had not blocked off access roads, which had become parking lots choked with stalled cars. The multitude of cars and people also forced the New York Thruway to close, creating one of the nation’s worst traffic jams (Peace Mecca 10).
People walked as many as twenty miles to get to the concert, all the while singing songs of peace and love and carrying placards displaying their hippie sentiments. Among the many were Keep America Beautiful-Stay Stoned, Love is Power, and Flower Power. Flowers, along with a dove perched upon a guitar became the symbols of the festival. These images were painted on cars, clothes and even bodies (Rock Audience). Their shabby clothes were a

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