In 1969 various bands from around the country and the world gathered on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm for a concert that would go down in the annals of musical history. It was a time of “love”, a time of drugs and a time for rock n’ roll. I am speaking of the legendary musical festival Woodstock. They came from far and wide, across oceans, across continents to hear the music they loved. Woodstock was the grand-daddy of all musical festivals, never to be repeated, never to be forgotten. This festival opened the flood gates to annual festivals which still thrive today.
Musical festivals are now apart of our normal lives. Each year a different festival is scheduled. Here in the rice eating nation of Japan, Summersonic is a festival which sees different bands from around the globe come to Osaka and entertain thousands. This concert is a three day musical fest allowing fans to wander from stage-to-stage to watch and listen to their favorite bands. The young and the old, flock to this event hoping to hear – for the old – songs from their youth and for the young, songs of the time. Indeed Summersonic has a mixed bag of old and new, punk and rock, new wave and hip-hop. Everyone is catered for. Following Osaka’s celebration is the famous Fuji Music Fest. This is a three day celebration of music from around the world and once again the fans flock to become part of this extravaganza. In many countries the music festival is treated as a kind of tourist attraction. Governments boast the popularity of their festivals. England’s own Glastonbury (spelling) festival, though often rained out, is hugely popular and attracts many international acts. Last summer Paul McCartney enthralled music lovers at the Coachella Festival and somehow gave the younger artists something to strive for. As the summer months come closer, so too will the festivals. It is as if the outdoor music festival, concert or jam sessions have become part of our summer calendar. people plan vacations around these events and attend them in droves
We have to thank Mr. Yasgur for allowing thousands of hippies, dope smokers and others to set up camp on his farm and bring Woodstock alive. In my opinion, Woodstock changed the face of musical concerts and ushered in a new wave of understanding. The language of music knows no bounds, knows no good or bad, it is pure. If only we ourselves could be so. Those melodies are within us all, waiting to be freed and shared. Unfortunately only a small percentage of us has the talent to able to harness this gift and share it with the world. Music can make you happy, it can make you sad, it can help you remember and it can help you forget. For music is peace and friendship and thus a thing of beauty.