Trading Peace For Profits

As the Bible says To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under
Heaven. Woodstock 1969, it was a time for love … and hate. In a country with race
riots and the Vietnam war a single dove perched on a guitar neck changed America for
ever and brought a new light to the world in just 72 hours. Dubbed three days of peace
and love the legacy of Woodstock spawned a sequel…Woodstock 1999. To go into all
the differences between Woodstock 69 and Woodstock 99 is a task that couldnt be
completed by Woodstock 2004(which is already in the works). From psychedelic fields
to Wall Street; materialistic movers and shakers of the 1980s and 90s; are our parents
really the long hairs of love and peace , half stoned music lovers of the sixties? When
did it all change when did they change? Woodstock and what happened there after
presents the changes in the views of society in a microcosm. The love and peace in 69 to
a aggressive show of teenage angst in 99; what has the legacy of Woodstock really
been Free love and communal sharing to the hyper merchandising and materialism;
Idealism to Disillusionment. How we have changed…can we ever make our way back
to the garden?
In comparing these two event one must realize the decades which separates them
and more importantly what has taken place in the world since 1969. The people who were
in attendance in 69. were not part of the instant access world. computers were for
scientist not a tool for spanning the glob to speak about everything from the latest music to
sex with your cyber friends in Australia. America was the still unquestionable the
champions of the world coming out of World War II and Korea. Every child could
look forward to doing as well or better than his or her parents. In other words America
was riding high in a golden age with only one major pitfall; Vietnam. How does a
generation tell the last generation of warrior that they dont want to fight. The war
started by the older generation is not their war. They ban together or they come together
in what can only be described as a happening the proportions of which no one could
have predicted. The peaceful shock waves of which were heard around the world, the
harmony and love of which we have been trying to recapture since.

The two events started the same way producers and promoters getting talent for
the show and figuring how much to charge and how much they would make. The security
was minor at Woodstock 69 who was going to storm the gates and fences installed, little
did they know. They hiked rides they walked they came from all across the country and
down came the fences. This wasnt going to happen in 99 they knew word was out
security was tight. No one would get in without tickets. the attendance, Woodstock 69,
expected attendance 150,000 actual attendance 450,000, 99 350,000 actual 350,000.
One of the most common comparisons made between Woodstock 69 and
Woodstock 99 is that in 69 peace reined and violence was gone, in 99 the media made
it seem like there were all out terrorist acts being committed and teenage angst was the
cause of fires and pillaging of concession stands. This is not entirely true. The only
reason the events at 99 seemed so terrible was because the media was to busy comparing
99 to 69. The original Woodstock was a music festival for peace love and music. It was
during the time that the Vietnam war was going on. Mothers were sending there children
off to war. On the news you would see stories of women being raped and men being
killed. The war was away from home, there were clear sides…the good guys and the bad
guys (strawberryfaygo,3). People know who and what to fear. Now today the war is at
home, its everywhere you look.No longer can we be sure of who to trust and where is
safe, the lines are blurred(strawberryfaygo,2). We commonly see people opening fire on
innocent people in schools, businesses, and churches. And the sad thing is it isnt
paranoia, its reality. This is what caused the angst, this is what caused the fear, this is
what caused the hate. Considering the world we live in today, Woodstock 99, as horrible
as the media made it, was a more fitting Woodstock for our times.

If Woodstock 69 was about peace and love and it just grew out of the need of the
teens of the time to get together, then it is fitting to say that it can never be duplicated
there came a point ,(when it became a free concert) that it burst forth as a one time event.
Woodstock 99 was about profits the groups were there just for the money and photo-ops.
Everything at Woodstock 99 seemed contrived , less then genuine. Whether
it was the security guards with Peace Patrol on their shirts or the girls who took off
their tops every time the Pay-Per-View cameras went passed. Now instead of a peaceful
dove resting on a guitar neck, a vulture seems more appropriated(Bederka,11).
Woodstock 99 was all for profit. A 3 day ticket for Woodstock 69 was $150 as apposed
to $18 for a 3 day ticket in 69, or you could stay at home and pay $135 dollars to see the
whole event on Pay-Per-View. In 99 advertisers invaded Woodstock. There where over
150 concession stands. There was everything from Taco Bells to Cinabons. One of the
biggest advertisers was Pepsi cola. Its logo was on every cup. At Woodstock 69 there
was a shortage of food and people starved for 3 days but stayed because they were driven
by the need to commune. At Woodstock 99 it seems that the people were starving
because the prices were so outrageous. A bottle of water was between $5-$10. The
going rate for food was about 4 dollars. No matter what it was 4 dollars was the going
price for popcorn, hot dogs, churros, etc.

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The world has turned, times and the economy has changed, but most of all the
people are cynical and it is that cynicism which has made it and will always make it
impossible to recapture all that is embodied by Woodstock 69. Vietnam is passed the
soldiers returned, but, this time they did not receive a heros welcomes. The war was not
won; the war effort had not been supported by the people or the government; our brave
fighter who had fought and died for the first time in our history were betrayed. This event
was perhaps the greatest blow our country has ever receive, and it came from within. We
were with this fragmented into those who were for, those who were against, those who
fought and those who ran. We became the society of whats in it for me and with that
we lost something great. With this loss we lost idealism. The government lies, we saw
this the first time as a people in Water Gate, another show and this time on national T.V.
of how everybody is out for them selves. Drugs, kill! Maybe its not news but it is now
common place, you didnt hear about it so much in the sixties. Drugs were mostly
organic not cooked up in someone’s kitchen. Dealers prey on anyone down to the
youngest and kids are even dealing. My piece of the pie? Does this sound cynical? It
reaches us all. This is why the innocents, communalism, feeling of oneness that was
Woodstock can never happen again. It is also why Woodstock 99 is only a name. The use
of the name itself shows an effort to get cover the pure money making goal of its backers.
Its all money and getting my piece of it. Killer concert yes, truly Woodstock, never
again. Can we ever find our way back to the garden? Hasnt happened since Adam and
Eve, but keep hope there are a few of us true believers still out hereWords
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