Woodstock tarnishes memories of hippy love

Last week at Woodstock ’99 about 200,000 people gathered in Rome, N.Y., to see more than 70 performers ranging from James Brown to Korn.
The event was plagued with violence. The three days were beset with rapes, with at least four taking place, one in the mosh pit right in front of a stage. In the ultimate gesture of disrespect to the concert which this event was honoring, “peace candles” that were being handed out were used to set a car on fire, and a mural honoring the original Woodstock was torn down and burned. The event concluded with rioting.
The concert was intended to be a tribute to the 1960’s Woodstock, promoting peace and love. At the 1969 concert, attendees were united by common causes, civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam war among others. It was these bonds that promoted peace and love at the original Woodstock.
This year’s Woodstock was more about people united simply to see music, with no real common cause. Even the bands were divergent in their musical styles. Our generation has been raised with apathy, with no one unifying cause. At this Woodstock, concertgoers were concerned more about themselves than anything else.
It is sad that Woodstock ’99 will be remembered for its violence. Both Woodstocks succeeded in using music to gather a large group of people. The similarities end there. At the original concert, the cause was just as important as the bands that played. At Woodstock ’99, the music was the only unifying factor.