Our Generation's Woodstock | Teen Ink

Our Generation's Woodstock MAG

September 4, 2009
By Maren Killackey BRONZE, Medford, Oregon
Maren Killackey BRONZE, Medford, Oregon
3 articles 15 photos 2 comments

The anniversary of the legendary music festival known as Woodstock seems to have passed without much more than a reminiscent remark or sigh by many in our parents' generation. But thanks to famed director Ang Lee's movie, “Taking Woodstock,” members of our generation are starting to take more interest. At least I am. As a music lover, the thought of Woodstock makes me salivate. Imagining a “free” music fest where all my favorite bands play makes me want to abandon my cozy lifestyle, strip down to my undies, and roll around in the mud for three days, which is essentially what happened. But I'm curious: could Woodstock ever happen again?

First, a little history. In 1969 a couple of dudes in New York got together and said, “Hey, let's throw a party. We'll invite Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, a bunch of other bands, and 50,000 of our closest friends and ­family.” Or something like that. In actuality, 500,000 people showed up. And it rained. But did that stop anything? No! In fact, it added to the magnificence and (to use a cliché) “grooviness” of the event. ­Attendees (who were not much older than we are) gathered to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” They turned on their sensitivity to the world, tuned in to their environment and subconscious, and dropped out of conventional, mainstream society.

I know, I know. Just a bunch of hippie mumbo-jumbo laced with LSD, right? I think not. True, there were drugs at Woodstock, but illegal substances aside, the music festival provided an escape, an outlet for struggling young adults to cope with their wacky world. Woodstock was essentially a three-day adolescent convention that gave people a sense of belonging.

So what do we have? As a member of the generation born around the 1990s, I cannot think of one unifying experience. Yes, we're still young, therefore we still have time to “bond,” but I'll reiterate my question: could Woodstock ever happen again? In short, no, for ­several reasons.

Despite all our parents' complaining, they had something we don't seem to have anymore: time. It seems like most teens today are playing sports, studying for some standardized test, or doing homework nonstop. During summer, there are camps, internships, college visits, travel. Spare time is for sleeping and eating, not driving for hours and hours to some concert.

Next, funding. The expense of putting on a big show like that today would be substantial. Corporate sponsors would be an unfortunate necessity. But could you envision Jimi Hendrix playing his famous rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the AT&T VIP stage “co-sponsored by Starbucks and Nike”? I don't think that would be too consistent with the image of Woodstock or the philosophy of dropping out of mainstream society.

So say we had the money and the time. Who would play? Woodstock featured 32 awesome, well-known bands who had an intense impact on youth culture. Who've we got? The Jonas Brothers? Beyoncé? Miley Cyrus? Kanye West? I'm sorry, but if their music ­reflects the mythos of our generation, it's a pretty sad story.

Well, so that's that. We're a hopeless, dispassionate group doomed to forever seek a space that provides us with a sense of belonging more meaningful than Facebook or MySpace. Music festivals will be for hipsters, and by the time we're 20 the most culturally significant event we attended will have been a stop on the Jonas Brothers' world tour.

Or we can chose to break out of the mold that is slowly beginning to form us. We can exercise outdoors, read a book by somebody who died 200 years ago, or volunteer for an organization whose work is important to us. Maybe Woodstock is a silly example, but the point is, how are we going to figure out who we are? The world, according to scientific data, is three billion years old. That's a lot of zeros. The average human lifespan? About 80 or 90 years. That's not much time in comparison. Let's make it worthwhile and put our mark on this planet's history. And a blowout party certainly wouldn't hurt either.

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This article has 41 comments.

on Jul. 28 2010 at 2:05 am
♥♫music4ever25♥♫, Phoenix, Arizona
0 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars! :)

what about a digital woodstock? after all aren't we the "digital age" in some way we could all be together but still far apart.....part of the message of the orginal....i have a feeling that if our generation were to have a recreation that a lot of bands would be up for it. mostly because they might feel the same way...that the commerical crap they peddal just isnt right and wont last. because of the complexity of it having it in a digital way might make it simplier yet still let us give our own twist on a wonderful idea

Bethani GOLD said...
on Jun. 14 2010 at 10:24 pm
Bethani GOLD, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
10 articles 0 photos 508 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is perfect until you sit back and realize how boring it is without risks.

There is a woodstock re creation of the original woodstock in July 10-11, 2010. It's in Toronto. Look up "woodstock concert" in google and you'll find it. 

on May. 10 2010 at 8:24 pm
PeaceLoveAndMusic, Prairie Village, Kansas
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"I would rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." -Kurt Cobain

yes! I love it.

on May. 1 2010 at 10:12 pm
songofheaven BRONZE, East Amherst, New York
2 articles 2 photos 51 comments

Favorite Quote:
I have found power in the mysteries of thought. -Euripides

I agree! With Hendrix, there was the whole peaceful hippie culture surrounding him, the Grateful Dead, and other artists like Neil Young and Janis Joplin. With the Jonas Brothers, all I think of, as far as culture goes, is little girls talking about some clothing store or Nick Jonas's face. I dunno, I guess that whole atmosphere of the late 60's just isn't there anymore, not like it used to be. The Jonas Brothers may put on a decent show, but no one remembers the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, or Madonna very much. And yet, I walk into scool and I usally see at least 6 Hendrix shirts. All the 60's can do is withstand the test of time. Will it? I think so. Heck, I'm listening to the Doors right now!

on Apr. 30 2010 at 3:04 pm
SunShineSparkle BRONZE, Orange, California
1 article 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
System of A Down - MIND"you need the ones you love and love the ones that you need", HYPNOTIZE"Mesmerize the simple minded Propaganda leaves us blinded", SAD STATUE"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering"

dude woodstock i am so down, get a bunch of amps, ask around for peopls favorite bands; metal, techno, alternative, country, rap it dont matter! or even better find out the people that played at woodstock and are still alive to see if their down myspace or go on facebook and ask if there willing to play for free, get people to buy a bunch of food, find sum desert area were no one would mind the noise. tell everone to put the word out there and make it happen!

as ive said i am so down to put all i got into this if anyones down, i wanna live one of the most awsomest times in the era i wish i was born in. :D

dude bring on the pyscadelic 60's cats and chicks!!!

on Apr. 20 2010 at 4:00 pm
songofheaven BRONZE, East Amherst, New York
2 articles 2 photos 51 comments

Favorite Quote:
I have found power in the mysteries of thought. -Euripides

I know exactly what you mean! The "greats" of our generation hardly compare to the greats of our parents/grandparents. If it were upto me, we'd still all be wearing bell-bottoms and fringe, and listening to Hendrix and the Grateful Dead. That's my version of awesome. Unfortunately, we're dealing with a bunch of Justin Bieber crazed girls, so you're right. I don't think Woodstock could ever happen again. It's pretty sad, actually.

on Apr. 12 2010 at 6:43 pm
margierose GOLD, New York, New York
11 articles 5 photos 24 comments
I complettly agree with you! our generation has nothing to show cultural-wise. We are a generation who wanders around the mall for hours, goes to Abercrombie and listens to Miley Cyrus. Most people don't seem to care about anything outside of their little teeny-bopper world. 

on Apr. 9 2010 at 6:18 pm
LovelybutDangerous BRONZE, Mabelvale, Arkansas
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You're such a heartless romatic."

If I could go back in time it would be to go to Woodstock, but anyway. My suggestion, us TeenInk kids get together, and just create the new Woodstock generation.

on Mar. 22 2010 at 5:09 pm
VioletsandVoice, Spiritwood, North Dakota
0 articles 0 photos 170 comments
thank you for that comment. i never really understood why the music industry today annoys me so much. well you've just summed it all up for me. there are no Michel Jacksons or Rolling Stones or George Straits they are all just actors trying to make more money

on Mar. 22 2010 at 5:07 pm
VioletsandVoice, Spiritwood, North Dakota
0 articles 0 photos 170 comments
love your article. i never knew much about woodstock except for the music/hippies/drugs generalization but it acutually sounds intersting. you also made a few points that i completely agree with. one: this generation is much different from the teenagers when woodstock was around sports, studying, school etc. I also think that getting that many computer-improved disney channel voices together in one place would be downright embarassing. keep writing you are very talented

kcorbammej said...
on Mar. 16 2010 at 8:13 pm
My town has a sort of "modern day Woodstock". Just thought I'd let you know. :]
http ://summercampmusic .com /

kcorbammej said...
on Mar. 16 2010 at 8:09 pm
My town has a "modern-day" Woodstock. I just thought I'd let you know. :]
http ://summercampfestival .com /

on Mar. 15 2010 at 7:56 pm
oracle-of-nonsense PLATINUM, Winnabow, North Carolina
37 articles 4 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We are born with two incurable diseases -- life, from which we die; and hope, which says maybe death isn’t the end."
- Andrew Greeley

It's funny how things work out. Before I read this month's mag, I'd been thinking about Woodstock, and our generation taking a stand, and how we could never have Woodstock the way we are now. And then I read your amazingly written piece, and I loved it so much I taped it to my bedroom door. Thanks for giving me hope!

on Mar. 3 2010 at 12:11 pm
dReameRboy13 SILVER, Tarrs, Pennsylvania
8 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Live for tomorrow if not today, because things could always be worse, but you never know what tomorrow may hold... it could be the most important day of your life."

Ya know, this article has nothing to do with the Jonas Brothers (aside from the small reference), so why are all of you making it out to be? The point was that back in the day, music was more than music. You should be discussing THAT instead of the Jo Bro's! :D

Taylor(: GOLD said...
on Mar. 2 2010 at 9:11 pm
Taylor(: GOLD, Perry, Kansas
16 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"live the life you love. love the life you live."--bob marleyy(:

people. the author is not dissing on the "jobros." they're telling us how less of an impact music of today is going to have. who will we remember when we're fifty years old?! skanky girls, made up boys? there will be no one exceptional, no one to change the way the world looks at itself.

on Feb. 28 2010 at 7:52 pm
Jordan901278 BRONZE, Long Pond, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Moloch! Burns down the love of the world." - Allen Ginsberg

Oh, and i agree with your Jonas Brother's point. Sure their music brings a lot of feeling and whatever to a lot of people so i respect them. Although, their music is just another genetic remake of some other guy's music. They're slaves to establishment and money. And for that i don't like them.

on Feb. 28 2010 at 7:50 pm
Jordan901278 BRONZE, Long Pond, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Moloch! Burns down the love of the world." - Allen Ginsberg

I'm so happy that there's somebody out there like me. I'm extremely happy you got published in the magazine. Great article, great points of view, great everything. A Woodstock today just wouldn't work, despite my dreams. But we just have to at least come close. I don't want my life to run it's course and the only great event i witnessed was Kanye West being the arrogant moron he is and interrupting an award show. I want another concert LIKE Woodstock. No greedy coorporate sponsers, no little Starbucks stands run by people with dollar signs for eyeballs, just music. Music and just that. I hope we can. Great article

Skaii GOLD said...
on Feb. 25 2010 at 10:13 pm
Skaii GOLD, ., Other
10 articles 0 photos 7 comments
I totally agree with you. The music now days is so shallow compared to bands back then. It's unfortunate :(

mrsjoejonas said...
on Nov. 2 2009 at 6:48 pm
the jonas brothers put on a GREAT show. u can like music now and still like that kind of music. I DO!

on Oct. 18 2009 at 6:05 pm
Maren Killackey BRONZE, Medford, Oregon
3 articles 15 photos 2 comments
Well, I don't deny the Jonas Brothers are entertaining, but I don't think they possess the same cultural importance as bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience did.