The Woodstock Festival, which took place from August 15th to 17th in 1969 in Bethel, New York, was one of the most monumental events for the hippie movement in the sixties.Major musicians of the time played at this event but Woodstock was so much more than just music. One week after the festival ended, The New York Times interviewed six young individuals who attended the festival. In the interview, the concert goers spoke of the overwhelming abundance of drugs present at the festival. One interviewee stated “There was a guy sitting there selling acid as if it was hotdogs.” Marijuana and LSD were prevalent at the festival (The 1960s: Opposing Viewpoints). A few interviewees spoke about how seeing people at the concert go on ‘bad trip’ really brought the mood and the atmosphere down.
One of the most astonishing things about Woodstock was the lack of violence. In the interview, the almost complete lack of violent was discussed by the youths. The concert remained peaceful despite the uncomfortable and unfortunate circumstances experience by the concert goers, such as rain and mud, over-crowding and inadequate rest rooms (Rielly, Edward). One concert attendee recalled how some people at the concert even helped to clean up the mess. In total, it is estimated that eight thousand people stayed Monday, the day after the concert, to help clean up (The 1960s: Opposing Viewpoints).
Lastly, The Woodstock Festival was so important to the hippie movement because “it represented an open, classless society of music, sex, drugs, love and peace” (Rielly, Edward). In the NY Times interview, one youth stated “There were so many people there I thought, wow wouldn’t it be a good idea if we could show our power by, you know, getting political? And then I thought a little more about it and I said oh, what for? It’s already here.” The hippie’s goal to come together and do whatever they pleased, such as walk around nude and do drugs openly, without government interference was achieved. Woodstock was a success for the hippies in that they were able to demonstrate that the counterculture could come together and live peacefully and freely without interference from “cops, guns or Nixon”( Stern, Jane and Stern, Michael).