Today is the first day of our favorite Belgian festival, Pukkelpop. Last year a unexpected whirlwind caused an early, dramatic end to this festival. Three people lost their lives. It left the festival goers, organization and the rest of our country in shock and disbelieve. Nevertheless thanks to the organization’s positivity and passion today Pukkelpop is back! We wish every one who’s going an awesome time and good luck to the organization!
And for this occassion here are some archive pictures of some heady, rain-soaked days and nights at another epic festival, Woodstock! “The original plan was for an outdoor rock festival, ‘three days of peace and music’ in the Catskill village of Woodstock. What the young promoters got was the third largest city in New York state, population 400,000 (give or take 100,000), location Max Yasgur’s dairy farm near the town of White Lake.”
It was a real city, with life and death and babies — two were born during the gathering — and all the urban problems of water supply, food, sanitation and health. Drugs, too, certainly, because so many of its inhabitants belong to the drug culture. Counting on only 50,000 customers a day, the organizer had set up a fragile, unauthoritarian system to deal with them. Overrun, strained to its limits, the system somehow, amazingly, didn’t break. For three days nearly half a million people lived elbow to elbow in the most exposed, crowded, rain-drenched, uncomfortable kind of community and there wasn’t so much as a fist fight.
For those who passed through it, Woodstock was less a music festival than a total experience, a phenomenon, a happening, high adventure, a near disaster and, in a small way, a struggle for survival. Casting an apprehensive eye over the huge throng on opening day, Friday afternoon, a festival official announced, “There are a hell of a lot of us here. If we are going to make it, you had better remember that the guy next to you is your brother.” Everybody remembered. Woodstock made it.
Post by Coco Pastis