Woodstock 50 has fell victim to an unfortunate update, but just how important has it been?

Woodstock 50 is due to take place this August but many have voiced their doubts about the anniversary event. The event originally took place at a farm in Bethel, New York, but will not this year. For those who believe that the location is key, there will still be an unofficial event taking place there. On the other hand, the reincarnation -Woodstock 50 – will take place at Watkins Glen, New York, and that’s not all that has changed. 

Woodstock took place in 1969 and is famed rounding off the countercultural revolution of the sixties. It provided such an iconic moment in history, with performers such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Santana, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and many more taking to the stage to deliver iconic sets. The festival is the kind of cultural moment that simply cannot be replicated; it was a product of the time.

However, this year’s commemorative celebration aims to highlight its importance and also raise awareness for important change. Sadly, the line up may feel like somewhat of a betrayal of the original bill. 

Yes, there are rock bands performing, but there are also artists like Miley Cyrus, Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z and Imagine Dragons who are set to perform prominent sets. When the event was first announced, it would have been difficult to predict these musicians as heavy-hitters across the weekend. Yet, one headliner felt quite at home: The Black Keys. It’s a huge shame that they’ve recently announced their departure from the festival.  

Due to scheduling conflicts, they’ve had to pull out, much to the irritation of fans who considered them a huge pull for the festival. Honestly, it is a huge shame because they are perhaps one of those bands who still stress and communicate the importance of rock n’ roll; they’re very much a popular guitar band able to unite many scattered demographics. With them excluded from the lineup, it’ll be interesting to see who the organisers assign to take their place. It’s wise to predict that a lower down act will simply receive a bigger slot, rather than a new act being announced. 

So, does their absence suggest that Woodstock 50 is unimportant? To approach such a question fairly, no, that doesn’t appear to be the case. After all, simply consider just how much music has changed since 1969. Popular music and prevalent genres couldn’t be more different, and the lineup certainly reflects this. The organisers have selected the bill to overtly convey that this isn’t an event which aims to recapture that scene and that magic, but instead, pay respect and try to stir social change. All of the artists will likely contribute to the festival’s “aid the planet” motif, regardless of their genre or style. That’s what it’s all going to be about. 

In other news, could Yandhi drop at Coachella?