An Air of Magic

December 23rd, 2009
Ellen McIlwaine @ the Roots of Woodstock concert

Ellen McIlwaine @ the Roots of Woodstock concert

“An Air of Magic—Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to “Woodstock,” an article by David Bouton that appears in the winter 2009 issue of Kaatskill Life, offers a great review of the Roots book and concert. Bouton begins with, “[The festival] happened here in the Catskill Mountains. It did not take place at Berkeley, or in the Golden Gate Park near San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. The historic, famous, somewhat spontaneous Woodstock peace, music and arts festival of 1969 in the Catskills was not a fluke either in its nature or its location. Yes, the event eventually was held in Bethel, NY, 70 miles away, but the festival is and forever will be called “Woodstock,” reflecting its origins, its geographical location, its nature, and inherent outlook and attitude: that of the community of Woodstock, NY.”

In writing about Roots of Woodstock Live Concert, Bouton continues, “The performers energized our minds, upped our heartbeats, and had people dancing not only in the aisles but among photos of Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix in the theater’s lounge. In true Woodstock style, some from the stage wondered among the crowd and visited with us. Although the concert began at 8 p.m. and the town of Woodstock drifted off to sleep on that wispy foggy evening, the concert in the Bearsville Theater had no time limits and went on through the night.”

David Bouton sums up, “If you missed the concert with its enhanced emotional understandings as to where ‘Woodstock’ came from, you can still find answers to the larger picture of ‘how come?’ with the words of the original townspeople and the library of historic photographs in the Blelocks’ book.”

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