July 4, 2018
Woodstock - A Day Of Peace And Love!
A fresh breeze carrying the scent of the earth blew towards the roaring crowd and as the performer entered the scene, the cheers and loud hails echoed around. The moist weather was not on point to deter the horde of people gathered to celebrate through the most incredible pieces of music. It was Woodstock Festival, the day of Peace… the day of love!
Woodstock Festival was a musical event held in 1969 which is known to have achieved an audience of over 400,000 people across the three days of performance. The festival was brought to life, thanks to the efforts of Joel Rosenman and John Roberts who funded the whole project. Joining the league of promoting and organising the event was Michael Lang and Artie Kornfield who, together, set up an office in Manhattan dedicated to the Woodstock Festival.
With time, the need to choose a place for the festival was brought to the fore and Wallkill, New York was designated to be the location but was dispatched after a misunderstood deal in Saugerties came up. Progress would be impeded and the team would remain in an enigma of what will happen to their goal. However, in a twist of events, they would land onto the dairy farm of Max Yasgur who agreed to host the festival.
On August 15, the whole of Southern New York State was immersed in the great ambiance of the Woodstock Festival. Organisers were baffled with the horde of people that turned up to the event, truly beyond their expectations. The Festival was opened by a commendable speech by Swami Satchidananda and by night, the audience would reach a peak of over 400,000 attendees.
Amidst the 32 performances on that memorable day, some remain honourable mentions including Ravi Shankar who played while a downpour occurred, Joan Baez who was 6 months pregnant at the time and Jimi Hendrix whose performance was the most anticipated one of the event.
Woodstock festival would display the most exquisite pieces of music from these artists that performed in the name of love and peace. Rock and Folk, Jazz Fusion and Psychedelic Rock were the popular genres of music that could be cherished at those instants. Despite the adversities of weather, the party kept on going. The power of love and peace was to be shared and that vigour never let silence step in.
Today, the Woodstock Festival remains engraved in the monolith of the most sensational music events of all times. Many parodies and tribute events were organised throughout the years to commemorate the Peace and Love day. In 2017, famous singer Lana Del Rey would release Coachella – Woodstock in my Mind to express her concerns about the rifts between North Korea and United States pointing Woodstock as a symbol of peace.
Now known as one of the epitome of peace, the musical event would not cease to echo its name around, even if we are 49 years away from those instants. Woodstock has earned a rightful place in the heart of everyone, if only time could go back and let those blissful moments reverberate across the world once again…
For those who have experienced Woodstock Festival, the ecstasy still rushes through their veins.