Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Woodstock(s) on the eve of Coachella (video)

Seth Auberon, Ashley Wells, Pat Macpherson, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; DocumentaryWorld
Coachella, the annual Burning Man/Bonaroo-style Woodstock event, is coming soon.
(Rick E. Lewis) "Before During & After Woodstock 99" trailer of locally produced documentary about the events surrounding Woodstock 99, NY. Produced by Rick E. Lewis.(Devon Rushton) Documentary: Woodstock 1969 opposing war, celebrating peace and love.
While most Americans in the 60s went to Woodstock, more than 100 million in attendance, or so one would think from all the stories about that mythical event. 

In fact, relatively few went compared to the number who say they were there, and of those few paid. Most just walked in through a downed fences. Hipsters knew what was going to be there, not mainstream folks. While many on stage went on to become music legends -- they were not yet at that level. They had a little fame, some hits, but most of their fame was yet to come.

When Woodstock II happened in 1994 -- with Metallica, Cypress Hill, Bob Dylan, the Cranberries, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, NIN, et al. -- a legend was reborn.

But it was Woodstock III in 1999 -- with Korn, Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, moe., ICP, DMX, DDT, Muse, James Brown, Bush, Moby, Ice Cube, Alanis Morissette, Metallica, Megadeth, Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, RHCP, et al. -- when a sort of riot ensued as "rambunctious" youth jumped up and down, bringing down fences, all with gleeful MTV cameras watching and hypocritical MTV hosts commenting.

Coachella is much more mellow than the Woodstocks, but some people just walk in. It's a large lawn, a polo field surrounded by desert hills, campgrounds, parking lots.

Woodstock '99
(RATM) Rage Against the Machine with Zack de la Rocha burn flag in protest, Woodstock 99

Prior to the concert, the promoters of the 1999 event were determined to avoid the gate-crashing (sneaking in without paying) that had occurred at previous festivals.
They characterized the site as "defensible," describing the 12-foot plywood-and-steel fence intended to keep out those without tickets. Along with the fence, about 500 New York State Police Troopers were hired for additional security (Wayback Machine). In addition to two main stages, secondary venues were available.

This included several alternate stages, a night-time rave music tent, and a film festival (sponsored by the Independent Film Channel) held in a former airplane hangar.
Woodstock '99 was conceived and executed as a commercial venture with dozens of corporate sponsors, and included the presence of vendor "malls" and modern accoutrements such as ATMs and e-mail stations (Joseph Maglitta, 1999, "Woodstock '99: Think E-Commerce, Dude," Computerworld 33: 42).

Tickets for the event were priced at $150 plus service charges (Alona Wartofsky, 1999, Woodstock '99 Goes Up in Smoke, The Washington Post), at the time considered costly for a festival of this type (Andy Bennet, 2004, "Remembering Woodstock," England: Ashgate Publishing Limited: 36) More

Free concert
Woodstock: Aquarian Exposition in Wallkill
Woodstock did not begin as a free concert (though very reasonably priced) but it became one. As many as a million tried to come, and an estimated 500,000 made it.

As Wiki explains, the late change in venue -- to a farm in Woodstock, NY -- did not give the festival organizers enough time to prepare. At a meeting three days before the event, organizers felt they had two options.

One was to complete the fencing and ticket booths, without which the promoters were almost certain to lose their shirts; the other involved putting their remaining resources into building the stage, without which the promoters feared they would have a disappointed and disgruntled audience.

When the audience began arriving by the tens of thousands, the next day, on Wednesday before the weekend, the decision had been made for them (Rosenman, Robers, & Pilpel, 1974, Making Woodstock, Kindle eBook). "The fences at Woodstock" became an oxymoron, while the stage at Woodstock gave birth to a legend.

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