The Effect of Woodstock
Woodstock's massive attendance had both immediate and lasting effects on the local community; it caused traffic for miles in every direction.
Traffic was at a stand-still, and thousands of people abandoned their cars to walk the last few miles to the Woodstock festival.
The hippie opposition and frustrations that cumulated into the Woodstock eventually led to the end of the Vietnam war.
The Woodstock Music & Arts Festival was of local and regional significance because of the enormous impact, both immediate and lasting, the event had on the local and regional community.
Originally an economic pursuit, the financiers of the event originally wanted a different site for the festival. They expected less than 100,000 people in total. The site they had located could be leased at a reasonable rate, but obtaining permits for gathering of this size proved difficult. Their application for permits were denied to them when a group called the Concerned Citizens Committee obtained 2000 signatures of local residents who opposed the large numbers of drugs and hippies the festival would bring to the town.
Desperate to find a new location, they led a search that eventually brought them to the Sullivan County dairy farm of Max Yasgur. For $50,000 (and $75,000 for damages), Yasgur agreed to lease them several hundred acres. In total, Woodstock Ventures obtained 600 acres from Yasgur for the festival grounds.
The festival had a massive attendance that was completely unexpected. The financiers of the event prepared for hundreds of thousands less people, and the amount of people that actually attended forced the event to be a free concert. Thus, it became a failed economic venture, and the creators of the event would still be making up for the losses decades later.
The amount of people that actually arrived numbered half a million. Their arrival was marked by lines of cars running miles in every direction. Traffic became a stand-still, and many people could not get out. Many emergencies could not be responded to, and even medical treatment could only be given after a helicopter lift to hospitals miles away.
Despite problems with the sound system, rain, the critical shortages of food, drinking water, and toilet facilities, and the economic failure of the venture, this festival was regarded as a success. It is recognized as the start and end of an era, a gathering that has come to represent a decade's counterculture. Recognizing its important place in U.S. history, the U.S. Postal Service recently issued a postage stamp to honor Woodstock based on the dove-on-guitar neck design of the Woodstock Festival poster.
In hindsight, the Woodstock Festival changed the world, with hippie concepts of flower power and peace carried through music and the bonding that occurred.
At the time, America was at war in Vietnam, and the anti-war ideals of the hippies were scoffed at. However, after Woodstock, people were less hasty to dismiss the peaceful ideas of the hippies.
Hippies were not seen as radicals. They were peace makers. The way of life changed; policies were changed and music became a means of expression, the only weapon the hippies had.
The lasting effects of the Woodstock Festival are numerous and relevant to the present day. Woodstock was an undoubtedly provocative event in the music of the time.
In the 70's, music began to be created for artistic reasons rather than financial ones. Music became a creative form of expression that changed the way music was created.
To honor this turning point in American history, thousands of people are still influenced every time they attend a Woodstock reunion.
However, every year, locals have come up with ways to prevent people from gathering at Woodstock with childish pranks. Regardless, the Woodstock reunion is allowed to continue in peace.
Woodstock was a accumulation of the frustrations of the time, and those frustrations brought the Vietnam war to an end.