Move Over Coachella, Woodstock is Back



Woodstock is back at Watkins Glen, N.Y. on Aug. 16, 17 and 18.


In August 1969, Woodstock debuted on a 600-acre farm located in Bethel, a small town in upstate New York. More than half a million people showed up to the three-day festival, which has since become an icon of 1960s hippie counterculture. This summer, 50 years after the original opening, Woodstock is being relaunched in Watkins Glen, New York.

The Woodstock Festival (also known as An Aquarian Exposition: Three Days of Peace and Music) was one of the first big music festivals to launch in the United States. Some of the headliners were Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, The Who, Santana and Jimi Hendrix. Along with the musical acts, it fostered a wild but warm environment with energy to match. It helped create a new kind of live music experience, one that not only values music but also emphasizes unity and peace among people. It truly was a time of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Although it had a huge turnout and a rocking lineup, the organizers of the festival ran into a lot of trouble, resulting in more than $1 million in debt and 70 lawsuits filed against them. Nothing of this magnitude had been done before, so there was no protocol on how to coordinate the event. The organizers were four inexperienced young men, all younger than 27.

The 2019 Woodstock Festival looks promising. We are in the golden age of festivals – Coachellas, Lollapaloozas, Burning Men and Bonnaroos abound. At this point, the days of awkward planning are gone. Organizers have mastered the art of constructing a successful music festival. Plus, this is the 50-year anniversary of Woodstock, so there is no room for error.

The lineup for this year’s Woodstock is stacked with established contemporary artists like Jay-Z, Chance The Rapper, Miley Cyrus and The Killers. Sticking true to its roots, the festival will also feature some of the original Woodstock headliners like Santana and Dead and Company, which includes members from the original Grateful Dead. The fusion of classic and new artists is sure to attract crowds from all walks of life and create a unique festival experience.

It can be overwhelming to navigate the overabundant number of festivals these days. Figuring out which lineup is best, which tickets are cheapest and what vibes are present are all pressing issues to young adults all over the country. But it would be a shame not to take advantage of living in New York and make a trip to the revival of the most iconic music festival of all time. Watkins Glen is a five-hour drive from New York City. Buses are an affordable and easy option for getting to the location, but a roadtrip with friends is a fun alternative.

If you want to have a festival experience this summer, Woodstock is the one. After all, it is the festival that started all festivals. The original Woodstock brought people together during a time of political and social turmoil. The new Woodstock may instill that same feeling of hope during this seemingly hopeless time.