Managing the unforeseen challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on people worldwide. Every day we see economic and social disruptions caused by the virus. Work lives have been halted, and day-to-day routines are now a thing of the past. Now, the priority for most of us is keeping healthy and safe from contacting the virus.
The continuing pandemic is also impacting everyone’s mental health. Self-isolation or limiting social interactions to ever decreasing circles is not stimulating. We are social animals after all and need to be a part of and be surrounded by our community. Many individuals now feel cut off and alone, and without support, may spiral into a state of despair.
At this unprecedented moment I wanted to look back at a happier time in history. Particularly, if I could travel back in time, which moment would I choose? For me, the answer is simple. It was a time some called a gathering of peace, love and politics: Woodstock 1969, advertised as am Aquarian Exposition: Three Days of Peace and Music, and alternatively referred to as the Woodstock Rock Festival. The event was defined as a watershed moment in 1960’s counter-culture movement, changing social and musical perspectives
The legendary event was held in the Catskill Mountains, upstate New York. More than 1 million people travelled to attend this historic event, but an estimated 500,000 made it through the gates. There were reports the traffic was so bad roads beyond the venue were blocked for five days. The organizers were so overwhelmed by the throngs of attendees they gave up collecting tickets and made it a free event. However, there were problems; the organizers had not catered for such a large crowd. It is said the Red Cross had to airdrop sandwiches to the attendees. Portable washrooms were sparse, or never arrived, meaning the sanitary state of the outside venue (a farmer’s field), was far from healthy. It’s not known why the Woodstock event was so popular; some say the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War may have been factors, but it certainly united a generation from all parts of the country.
What is clear to me is Woodstock proved music was powerful. Politicians were forced to heed the frustration of the hippie opposition which eventually led to the end of the Vietnam War.
Was Woodstock 1969 perfect? No. But, it did provide a platform for people to vent their displeasure with their government’s policies. People needed to send a message and it worked. Woodstock is exactly what many people would love today.
If you could witness any event first-hand what would it be and why? Let us know in the comments section below!