Woodstock Was a 'Nightmare'

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2009 2:25 PM CDT
Woodstock Was a 'Nightmare'
A couple hugs during the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in Bethel, N.Y.   (AP Photo)

Mark Hosenball of Newsweek was at Woodstock, and not only did he not have a good time, but he can’t quite figure out how we’ve “transformed a chaotic mudfest into an epic pageant of peace and love.” Hosenball reminisces about the “massive, teeming, squalid mess” and its “traffic jams, torrential rain, reeking portable johns, barely edible food, and sprawling, disorganized crowds.” He can’t even really remember what acts he saw.

Hosenball hightailed it after just one day, but the purportedly epochal event has hounded him. Why, though? “What was Woodstock's bottom line? That 500,000 people jammed into in a mudhole didn't fight, riot, or annihilate each other?” Of all the events he’s covered, Hosenball would prefer to think, say, Barack Obama’s nomination at last year’s DNC was more important. “That's the kind of development for which Woodstock is supposed to have laid the groundwork, but I don't really see how you get from there to here.” (More Jay-ZTV stories.)

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