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  • Writer's pictureROCK IS DEAD


Updated: Mar 7, 2019

#woodstock #festivals #livemusic #rocknroll

Photo via Woodstock50 Instagram

Let the Battle of the Woodstock Festivals BEGIN!

In case you're confused amongst all this Woodstock chatter, allow me to break down what is going on with the 50th anniversary celebrations for the iconic music festival that took place in late August, 1969. A few weeks ago, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts announced a 50th anniversary celebration festival for Woodstock. Bethel Woods is where the original festival took place in 1969, and the famers field where the concert was held has now been turned into an arts and entertainment complex. The event has promised an impressive line up along with TedTalk like seminars on the significance the festival had on music and culture. Live Nation is also backing the festival, which would ensure the legitimacy of the event.

However, this is not Woodstock. The official "Woodstock" name is owned by a chap named Michael Lang. Lang, along with his partners were the original promoters for the festival back in 1969, and own the naming rights to Woodstock. Michael Lang announced his own festival last week (on the same weekend) called Woodstock50. Now this festival obviously won't be held on the same grounds as the original concert (Bethel Woods claimed that), however this one will also be in New York state, about an hour and a half from Rochester at Wakins Glen International. This Nascar track will use all its flower power to try and bring back the feeling of the late 60s.

So what's next? Well, Battle of the Woodstocks becomes battle of the lineups. Rumour has it, the line ups will be announced next month and it will be interesting to see who snagged who. Bethel Woods has money backing them with it being a Live Nation event, however artists might gear towards Michael Lang's festival out of loyalty. Or... artists may shy away from Lang, after the disastrous Woodstock festivals of the 90s, that saw fires and riots break out and accusations of sexual assault on the grounds.

Regardless, both festivals have ensured a "multi-generational" event, paying homage to the artists of Woodstock '69. Among those artists from the original festival still kicking it today include, Santana, The Who, CCR and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Could we see epic reunions? Maybe. The Who did just announce a new tour, and personally a CSNY reunion is something my little millennial brain just couldn't handle. Not to mention Santana... Santana is God. Anyways, hopefully the line ups are what they say and do appeal to varying generations, but within good taste. The last thing we need is for Travis Scott to headline a night at one of these festivals. Lang, has noted his event will vary in musical genres, so we shall see.

For now, I'll start my shopping for the most hippy-esq inspired clothes, covered in floras and accented with circular sunglasses and flower crowns. What Woodstock festival will you be attending?


Bethel Woods has announced: Ringo Starr, The Doobie Brothers and Santana

Woodstock50 is rumoured to have: Robert Plant, GVF, Jay Z, The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, Dorothy, Santana (also), Kacey Musgraves, and MORE

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