You Woodstock Believe It: Learn from Woodstock


With festival season upon us, live music fans show their support for this growing industry online. There are so many to choose from and people travel from all over to attend Cochella, Firefly, or Lalapalooza (just to name a few.) I think the only way to answer the question of why music festivals are so enticing is to go back to the original music festival: Woodstock. Pete Fornatale told, “They came for the music, but found something much larger than the music in those three days.” Woodstock featured legendary artists such as Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, The Who, Credence Clearwater Revival and, most notably, Jimi Hendrix.

Woodstock was actually created with the purpose of building a music studio outside of Manhattan by Michael Lang and Artie Korneld. John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, two young entrepreneurs in New York, joined the team to execute this feat, and then joined them. Let’s take a second to learn some lessons from this original music festival.

There will be bumps, but roll with it.

Their original venue fell through only a month before the festival because of zoning laws. They ended up having it on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, N.Y. and that was just one “small” problem the team encountered. The entire event was supposed to be to make money, but because of the crowd, it ended up being a free concert. It also rained during the event, cables ran through the mud, and no one was quite sure if the canvas was going hold above the stage (luckily, it did!)

With a persistent spirit, anything is possible.

Despite the setbacks and bad weather, no one could anticipate what was going to become of Woodstock. It created a lasting legacy that people within the industry can point to and say “Hey, that’s what music is about.” Music festivals bring like-minded people together and spread new ideas. It was half a million people together to show a new way to live through non-violence while the Vietnam War was going on. Woodstock represented the time period that it was in and garnered media coverage allowing the world to see what a group of people were already thinking.

Festivals are more about bringing people together and enjoying good music more so than the outfits that everyone will Instagram. At a festival, dancing is infectious and the spirit in the air excites a crowd. Whether you are playing Cochella or you’re your town’s local festival, remember that everyone there might not be there to see just you, but give it your all and new fans will be created from your contagious spirit.


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