Due to a whole litany of legal obstacles, funding issues, and misguided decisions far too numerous to recount, an official 50th anniversary celebration of the Woodstock Festival won’t be taking place this year in New York State, Maryland, or anywhere else. The demise of Woodstock 50 is a shame, not just for the organizers and artists who hoped to make it happen, but also for the fans who hoped to celebrate this incredible watershed moment in American history.
But then again, how reflective was this proposed mega-fest to the original spirit of Woodstock in the first place on purely musical terms? The original Woodstock was a cutting-edge lineup, wholly reflective of what was actually taking place in the counter-cultural world of music in 1969. It included live dynamos like Jimi Hendrix and The Who of course, but also largely unheard acts just about to break through like Santana and Mountain, as well as engaging left-turns like Tim Hardin and Ravi Shankar. It also had several zeitgeist riders like Jefferson Airplane and Creedence Clearwater Revival.