Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
What the world was like 50 years ago is not much different from the world we live in today. There were student run protests, corrupt government officials, and people smoking pot everywhere. People of the 60’s and 70’s rejected societal norms and people tried to live a life of ‘turn on, tune in, and drop out’— famous words by Timothy Leary spoken to a gathering of 30,000 hippies in San Francisco, CA in 1966. There was a counterculture movement amongst young adults that was taking over the country.
Today, protests are happening in every city for different causes almost monthly—most of them run by students. A majority of young adults find going against the norm is more appealing than fitting in with the crowd. Our current president has been under investigation for countless allegations from almost the start of his presidency. Marijuana is being used recreationally (and medically) more than ever. It’s like the 60’s & 70’s are happening all over again.
Woodstock recently announced a 50th anniversary concert that will have a 3-day run in Watkins Glen, New York. Performing this year are acts from the original Woodstock in 1969 such as Santana, The Grateful Dead, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (now known as Dead & Co and David Crosby and Friends).
The 50-year anniversary festival feels fitting for where we are in the world today. Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane of the past few years of the 21st century.
The day after Donald Trump was sworn into presidency on January 21st, 2017, an estimation starting at 500,000 people participated in the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.. Marches happened all over the country in different cities on this day and an estimated 4,000,000 people marched in total. Those are insane numbers, I know. An estimation of over 200,000 people, including myself, marched in Washington, D.C. in March 2018, in response to the Parkland shooting that left 17 high school students dead.
The legalization of recreational marijuana went from two states in 2012 (Colorado and Washington) to ten by 2019. Let’s not even get into decriminalization and the state laws. A white supremacist rally, yes, a white supremacist rally, that happened in Charlottesville in 2017 turned into a riot that left three dead and dozens wounded. And although may have no Vietnam War going on at the moment, the United States has been involved in wars with Iraq and Syria that have caused considerable damage to both nations in various ways. No matter how you look at it, there is definitely a subtle counterculture going on that we’re all living in that significantly resembles the one of the 60’s and 70’s. The immense partisan divide in politics has people running to the streets to participate in, or even run their own protests month after month.
Headliners for Woodstock this year include artists like Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, The Killers, Chance the Rapper, Halsey, and more. There is an adequate representation of female artists included just like the original Woodstock, which is something you don’t see in most music festivals today. But, what makes this Woodstock like the one 50 years ago?
Will it REALLY be 3 days of peace, love, and music? Miley Cyrus, who performed at the March For Our Lives in D.C., is a human rights activist with a personal ethos that makes her an ideal performer, not to mention that she’s incredibly talented. Chance The Rapper, headlining Saturday, is known for being heavily involved with Chicago schools and giving back to the community he comes from.
It is assuring to know that there are artists headlining the festival who promote peace, love and music in their personal brand and image, and one can only hope the fest will feel like the original Woodstock. For the same purpose: peace, love and music. The three-day festival is set to take place August 16th-18th and tickets are announced to go on sale soon. There is no pricing available on the site yet or information on what kind of tickets will be sold. More information on Woodstock 50 can be found here.