Welcome to the Woodstock - Preservation Archives
Dedicated to the Historic Preservation of the Site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival
THE WOODSTOCK SITE
Hurd & West Shore Rds
My View: Wayne Saward
Wayne Saward wrote this "My View" June 12, 1993 in the Times Herald-Record about the ownership of the spirit of the Woodstock festival.
In the second week of August, 1969, at the age of 12 years, 7 months old, in Fair Oaks, New York, while I was wallowing on Mallo peanut-butter cups and sipping on Coca Cola, I witnessed what some still say was the worst traffic jam on Route 17 to this day. What I wasn't sure of was what was causing this major back-up; but, within no time, I was informed by means of The Times Herald-Record and WALL Radio in Middletown. A massive rock festival, billed as an Aquarian Exposition, was taking place in White Lake, a distance of 33 miles away from my house on Fair Oaks Road.
The pictures and stories that appeared in The Record pertaining to the festival were fascinating. Fascinating enough that The Times Herald-Record issued two publications on Saturday, Aug. 16, 1969. It was made clear to me at that point that what was happening was very big and was sure to be historic, to say the least.
Since that time, there have been many rock festivals, but not one festival has ever left the impact that Woodstock did, culturally and universally. There were 400,000 hippies gathered in a sea of mud for three days - without any form, whatsoever, of violence - listening to music and having fun. The basis of Woodstock's success surely, and by all means, is owed to each and every person who was involved. They, themselves, made it historical.
The nucleus of Woodstock lies on four key individuals: John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Michael Laing and Artie Kornfield. They had a dream of creating an event that would define a generation. A generation that had witnessed so many wrongdoings, socially, racially, politically and also stood by to witness their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and relatives being killed in a senseless war, Vietnam. It was time to close an era. It was time to move on.
There's much to be learned about Woodstock. I think that the idea to commemorate it after 25 years is a fantastic idea. What today's society could reap from it could be bountiful, morally. Its concept could be useful as a teaching instrument for today's society. There's only one catch: This concept can happen, and only happen, in one place. That place is its origin, Bethel, N.Y., located at the intersection of Hurd Road and West Shore Road.
The idea of staging Woodstock ``94'' at any other location seems totally uncanny and plastic. As for any other promoter trying to reproduce Woodstock or reap monetary benefits, (whether charitable or not), is totally taking Woodstock out of its tablet form. In theory, any other persons trying to recreate such an event, (which is not theirs to begin with), are indeed ruining Woodstock.
Woodstock should only take place at its original site and be promoted and produced by its original Rat Pack. Give the Woodstock generation back the nucleus which it rightfully deserves: Roberts, Rosenman, Lang and Kornfield. That's the way it was and that's the way it should be, for the summer of '94.
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