Woodstock Co-Creator Addresses Lineup Backlash In 3 Words
(L) Woodstock / Instagram, (R) TMZ
Woodstock Co-Creator Tackles Backlash
The official Woodstock 2019 lineup is out, and we get it: you’re upset.
The 50th anniversary of the single most iconic event of the 1960s isn’t what you envisioned;JAY-Z and Janelle Monáe instead of Jimi and Janis, Miley Cyrus and Imagine Dragons on the same bill as John Fogerty and Robert Plant.
It’s strange, and the sudden influx of bands and artists geared towards millennials seems wildly out of place for an event as esteemed as Woodstock’s 50th anniversary, resulting in more than a few conversations with your own peers about how “you can’t spell ‘crap’ without ‘rap’” and Janis Joplin likely “is spinning in her grave” right about now.
Good news: co-creator Michael Lang knows.
Bad news: he doesn’t care.
The Woodstock co-creator addressed the backlash to the 50th anniversary lineup, explaining that while he understands the confusion surrounding some of the artists tapped to perform this summer, the overall goal of Woodstock isn’t to please purists hoping for a carbon copy of the original festival no matter how hard the backlash might be.
“Get over it, really,” Lang laughed when asked if he had a message for those upset about the lineup. “We cannot just have an oldies show; this is not Oldchella or Desert Trip, this is really a contemporary Woodstock for today.”
He went on to explain the basis for this year’s artists, saying that “The reason for it is really based around the social issues that we’re dealing with; about sustainability, about activism, and sort of trying to help re-steer where the world seems to be heading.”
If you think about it, Lang is right – think back to 1969 and the original Woodstock. It wasn’t a festival designed to only play the things you wanted to hear. It was an amalgam of different artists, sounds, genres, and styles that represented the era at the time, and despite the wide and varied list of entertainers that appeared that weekend you still walked away with some new favorites – or at the very least, a new appreciation for the stuff that wasn’t necessarily your thing.
Beyond that, Woodstock took place at a time of great social upheaval and was the culmination of several important conversations being held in America regarding sustainability, civil rights, and a war that couldn’t have been more unpopular if it tried. Looking back, Woodstock was never meant to be a festival solely for grown folks and it’s only fitting that 50 years later, it’s designed with the same purpose in mind: to engage young folks in social discourse and unite everyone who buys a ticket with good music.
Besides – you’ll still get to see heritage acts like Santana, John Fogerty and Canned Heat and who knows – we may even get some seriously interesting and entertaining jams between new artists and legacy acts!