Woodstock Anniversary


So today marks the last day of the 40th anniversary of theWoodstock Festival – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia… and it’s gone by with no one single event to mark it’s passing.

On that amazing weekend 40 years ago history was made. What was supposed initially to be the creation of a studio in up state New York turned into an idea for a 3 day festival in an region already made famous by Bob Dylan. (In the end the festival moved twice but remained in New York state.)

The legacy of Woodstock has been muddied by the same issues that dog the music industry as a whole – that of greed.

Planning costs for such a festival must have been nigh on impossible, and indeed the budget ran to $2.5m by the time The Who (and the farmer who’s field was ultimately used) were paid. But like all great ideas fulfilling a need, a wake of opportunities was created which reimbursed the initial investment many times over.

Other examples of success of this nature include Star Wars, in it’s many iterations, spin offs and merchandising. It’s legacy allowed Gorge Lucas to create Idustrial Light and Magic (ILM) – the company behind most movie special effects for the last 2 decades.

10, 20 and even 30 years later the original organisers of Woodstock continue to try and cash in on this success, and rather than doing the same thing again, by perhaps taking a risk and giving a little more than taking, have tried charging high ticket prices, and have slammed subpeona’s on anyone else trying to use the Woodstock name. This ultimately led to rioting at last decade’s anniversary spelling an end to the legacy altogether.

Shame we didn’t have an equivalent ‘long-haired’ event in the UK. Sure we have Live Aid, but…

Maybe the UK government should allow us to celebrate the anniversary of the event that heralded the Criminal Justice Bill – that of the biggest ever free rave/festival at Castlemorton Common Festival – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedianear the Welsh borders. We could turn this into the UK’s Woodstock and the government could cash in on its’ legacy. Hell we wouldn’t even complain – it’s not like paying tax after all is it!

So what’s my point here? What was going through my mind as I read about this polluted history? Well I guess it’s that of creative ideas, and their fulfilment. If you have a truly great creative idea – music or otherwise – it will succeed. You don’t even need great customer support, PR or marketing – if what you have fits a need it will return dividends.

Patience may be needed, so try switching this for greed as a virtue!

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