While there are plenty of tribute celebrations going on across America to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the legendary 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts festival, perhaps the most fitting bash is the one that just fell short of happening.
In a recent article with Variety, Michael Langdon — cocreator of the original festival — says he had planned a concert event that was to be as eco-friendly as it was star-studded. "It required sponsorship at a pretty hefty level, and the sponsors had to be green," Lang told Variety. "And it's just the wrong year for sponsor budgets. They just don't exist, because of the general state of the economy."
Plans called for the green event to be completely free, take place in Brooklyn's Prospect Park and coinciding with New York's Climate Week, a five-day program of events scheduled for Aug. 21-25, (it's since been rescheduled to Sept 20-26) and meant to address the need for action on climate change. Bands lined up to play included any surviving groups from the original '69 concert series, as well as modern day legends like Dave Matthews and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Unfortunately, the whole thing collapsed under financial strains — and as another producer quipped, "How can you do a Woodstock 2 with Pepsi-Cola and a record company sponsoring it?"
Obviously, there's no real way to recreate the magic of what happened back in '69 on a farm in New York — not in today's corporate homogenized landscape at least. The best we can hope is to honor the spirit of Woodstock and work to make any celebration as green as possible. It may not have happened this time — but hey, 50 years is right around the corner.