MUSIC

Featuring Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z, and Janelle Monae, Has Woodstock Returned to Save Us All?

But can the spirit of Woodstock survive the Instagram era?

This year's festival season is shaping up to be one for the books. One of the summer's most highly anticipated events is Woodstock's 50th-anniversary festival, which will run from August 16-18th.

Here's the full lineup:

Day 1, Aug. 16: The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, The Lumineers, The Raconteurs, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, John Fogerty, Run the Jewels, The Head and the Heart, Maggie Rogers, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Bishop Briggs, Anderson East, Akon, Princess Nokia, John Sebastian, Melanie, Grandson, Fever 333, Dorothy, Flora Cash, Larkin Poe, Brian Cadd and Ninet Tayeb

Day 2, Aug. 17: Dead & Company, Chance the Rapper, The Black Keys, Sturgill Simpson, Greta Van Fleet, Portugal, The Man, Leon Bridges, Gary Clark Jr., Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, David Crosby and Friends, Dawes, Margo Price, Nahko and Medicine for the People, India.Arie, Jade Bird, Country Joe McDonald, Rival Sons, Emily King, Soccer Mommy, Sir, Taylor Bennett, Amy Helm, Courtney Hadwin, Pearl, John-Robert and IAMDDB

Day 3, Aug. 18: Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Cage the Elephant, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monae, Young the Giant, Courtney Barnett, Common, Vince Staples, Judah and the Lion, Earl Sweatshirt, Boygenius, Reignwolf, The Zombies, Canned Heat, Hot Tuna, Pussy Riot, Cherry Glazerr, Leven Kali, The Marcus King Band, Victory, Hollis Brown, John Craigie, Amigo the Devil and Liz Brasher

The list features several original Woodstock performers, including Melanie and Santana, alongside some of today's brightest and most outspoken stars (with some generic pop acts thrown into the mix). Woodstock 50 will take place on the Watkins Glen International Racetrack in the Finger Lakes, about 115 miles north of the original event. More information can be found at www.woodstock.com.

Santana at the original Woodstock, via Morrisonhotelgallery.com

The festival is being produced by the original Woodstock's co-founder, Michael Lang. "It's kind of spooky how similar things are," he told Rolling Stone, noting the eerie parallels between the 1969 festival and today's political climate. "Some of the things that we thought we'd gone past in the last 50 years — the racial divides, care for the environment and women's rights — now we have Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement and climate deniers and another [expletive] in the White House."

It's hard to say if any of the Woodstock anniversary events will generate the spirit of defiance and unity that defined the original festival, or at least its historical legacy. Artists like Princess Nokia and Pussy Riot have promoted revolutionary and activist messages that rival those of the original Woodstock performers. Other notable acts include Boygenius (the trio comprised of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus), India.Arie and Janelle Monae, who have all spoken out in their own right.

Still, somehow it's just difficult to imagine that this Woodstock could have the same effect as the original in the age of Instagram when music festivals are often treated more like photo shoots and advertising expos than actual concerts. Maybe all this feels off because of the sad fact that some things really haven't changed much since 1969, and in some ways, they're even more complicated. But regardless, we could all use a little more peace, love, and music in our lives.


Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.


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