In the years since the first Woodstock, the festival’s tradition of peace and love has been romanticized in pop culture.

As Thompson notes, no matter who’s on the invoice, carrying on the heritage of the first Woodstock is incredibly hard. “They are attempting, I believe, to feed a good deal of mouths at once,” Thompson says of this number within this year’s lineup compared to this gathering of 400,000 people in 1969.

“In order to draw 400,000 in this market area, you have to please a lot of people at once.”

In terms of apparent comparisons to the first fest? “In the announcement of this new Woodstock lineup, there was conversation about the contrasts between the political situation in 1969 along with the political situation in the present,” Thompson notes.


“So, I am convinced there is going to be an effort to kind of tie both together and bring out some of these activism.”

Even though summer festival year is more crowded than , Thompson thinks Woodstock 50 will stand out due to its historical name recognition and reverberations for a”siren song to anyone who feels some kind of attachment” into the term”Woodstock” and its own audio history.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of 3 days of peace, music and love, Woodstock 50 will happen Aug. 16–18, 2019, in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Festival co-founder Michael Lang has declared the official lineup for your anniversary festival with Jay-Z, Dead & Company and The Killers as headliners. Rounding out the list of performers are Miley Cyrus, Envision Dragons, The Black Keys and Chance The Rapper as well as behaves like Santana who performed in the seminal fest five decades ago.


But what makes this 50th anniversary lineup special among a saturated field of music festivals today?

“They’re trying to re-create the magic and a number of the cultural dominance that the first Woodstock failed,” NPR Music’s Stephen Thompson says, noting that organizers aren’t just working from the shadow of this behemoth that was the original event, but also in the shadow of”the debacle that is Woodstock 99,” which was infamous for violence, jealousy and sexual assault cases.

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