"By the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong." - Crosby, Stills and Nash
If you're planning on wandering on up to Yasgur's farm to join up in a rock and roll band a few days from now, make sure to buy your tickets online and to remember your essentials: Sunscreen, plenty of water, your photo ID, and a tarp of some kind. That last one may not seem necessary, but it kind of fills in the spot where "towel" sits for Galaxy Hitchhikers. Keep out the rain or sun. Wrap it around you. Lay down on it. Use it for a slip and slide. Trade it for drugs.
Sorry. Did I say that last one out loud? Fifty years after the fact, would it be worth bringing up the somewhat rampant use of drugs all that stardust and billion year old carbon? Illegal at the time, marijuana smoke filled the air while various versions of LSD was passed around as if it were not the Schedule One drug it had only recently become. In this sea of humanity over three days of peace and music, frequent announcements were made from the stage for all to hear: "To get back to the warning that I’ve received, you might take it with however many grains of salt you wish, that the brown acid that is circulating around us is not specifically too good. It's suggested that you do stay away from that. Of course it’s your own trip, so be my guest. But please be advised that there’s a warning on that one, okay?"
Not specifically too good. That's the kind of warning that you could make to a throng of hippies and it would still be cool. The fact that the gates had long since been torn down and the anticipated crowd of two hundred thousand became that legendary half a million. Those tickets were eighteen dollars when purchased in advance, twenty-four at the site. Or free if you just wandered in barefoot. With or without your tarp.
The good news is that someone will probably plug in and play somewhere in upstate New York on or around August 16. The bad news is that the big hullabaloo, Woodstock 50, was cancelled. Apparently there was not enough peace and music to make it worthwhile.
Or enough drugs.
Or enough money.
Mostly the money.
Which is pretty much everyone's drug of choice, these days.
"We are caught in the devils bargain
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden"