Everywhere Was A Song And A Celebration


Is the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, held in 1969, truly a defining moment in human history?  No, but it’s always been a good excuse to have a party.  Many people are probably already sick of the ongoing 40th anniversary of Woodstock this summer – however we could all take a little lesson from a time that was a little more daring and hopeful, and tolerant.  Woodstock will be celebrated most notably at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on the original festival grounds with the Heroes of Woodstock performance on August 15, however there are many more celebrations planned through the summer and into the fall.

A good new website, Woodstockstory.com, details the celebrations around the world in commemoration of the Woodstock festival.  A free “West Fest” to be in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park this October will have a huge lineup including Country Joe McDonald and Denny Laine (Wings, Moody Blues) as well as members of such bands as the Chambers Brothers, the Byrds and Blue Cheer.  Check out the official website here.

Woodfest ’09 in Davis, Oklahoma, will be on the Woodstock weekend (August 14-15) featuring “tribute” acts to the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and the headliner, Essra Mohawk, who was an opening act back in the day.  More tribute bands will descend on Galt Airport near Chicago the same weekend for A Woodstock Illinois Tribute, featuring the music of Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Janis Joplin, the Who, Santana and more.

And finally, if you haven’t yet encountered the brown acid, try Ang Lee’s movie Taking Woodstock, which will be released August 28.  The film is the story of Elliot Tiber, who was one of the people behind the scenes in the creation of the festival. Tiber is played by deadpan comic Demetri Martin and also features Emile Hirsch, Liev Schrieber, Eugene Levy and Paul Dano.  So even if you’re not going back to the Garden this summer, you have plenty of opportunities to let your freak flag fly.

MP3: “Woodstock” by Matthews’ Southern Comfort

MP3: “For Yasgur’s Farm” by Mountain

MP3: “Roll Another Number (For The Road) by Neil Young


YouTube: “Taking Woodstock” movie trailer

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