Can Woodstock 50 "recreate the magic" of the original? : NPR



Jay-Z performs on stage during the "On the Run II" tour in 2018. The rapper is one of Woodstock 50's headliners.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images


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Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Jay-Z performs on stage during the "On the Run II" tour in 2018. The rapper is one of Woodstock 50's headliners.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

It's been 50 years since the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of three days of peace, love and music, Woodstock 50 will be held from August 16 to 18, 2019 in Watkins Glen, New York. Festival co-founder Michael Lang announced the official birthday festival programming with Jay-Z, Dead & Company and The Killers headlined. Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, The Black Keys and Chance The Rapper complete the list of performers, as well as artists like Santana who played at the flagship festival five decades ago. But in what way is this 50-year-old programming special among a group of saturated music festivals?

"They are trying to recreate the magic and some of the cultural dominance that the original Woodstock has had," said Stephen Thompson of NPR Music, noting that the organizers were not just working in the shadow of the monster 's. original event, but also in the film. the shadow of "the debacle that is Woodstock 99", which was notorious for the cases of violence, destruction and sexual assault.

In the years that followed the original Woodstock, the symbol of peace and love of the festival was idealized in pop culture. As Thompson notes, no matter who is on the bill, perpetuating the legacy of the original Woodstock is incredibly difficult. "They are trying, I think, to feed a lot of mouths at a time," said Thompson, pointing out the variety of this year's programming compared to the 400,000 gathering in 1969. "To attract 400,000 people to this market you have to please a lot of people at once. "

As for clear comparisons with the original festival? "At the announcement of this new training in Woodstock, there was a discussion about the parallels between the political situation in 1969 and the current political situation," says Thompson. "So, I'm sure there's going to be an attempt to tie the two together and bring out some of the activism."

Even though the summer festival season is more crowded than ever, Thompson thinks Woodstock 50 will stand out with its historical name recognition and reverberations as a "siren song for anyone who feels any attachment" to the word "Woodstock" and to his music. l & # 39; history.

Listen to the whole conversation on the audio link.


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