In July of 1969 we decided not to go to upstate New York. It was too long a drive just for a festival.
I did buy the record later, and hitchhiked up to Chicago to see the movie. I loved the part when Max Yasgur
got a rousing applause for saying "I'm a farmer".
The 60's were over and we had formed our own nation, the Woodstock nation.
Within a few years, communes were springing up and the back-to-the-land movement had revived. It was time to walk our talk. The hills and hollers of Tennessee and Kentucky were invaded by young folks looking for a simpler way of life. A counterculture was trying to figure out a way to live lighter on the Earth's resources, growing organic gardens and learning homesteading skills.
We got to know each other, as we stood out with our long hair. Holidays were celebrated together with pot lucks, music jams and holding hands together in a circle. In 1976 we had a big party on the first day of summer with volleyball, frisbee, swimming and a bonfire. It became an annual event we all looked forward to, a kind of "gathering of the tribes". The circle grew. Year after year, folks would file down our rough driveway for a weekend campout. The other solstice and the equinoxes were celebrated here too, but the summer event was the big one. Acoustic music and conga drumming filled the shortest night of the year.
After 10 years we moved the party to our hayfield, and hundreds of people came. Lasting friendships, courtships and connections were made, and the circle kept growing. Everyone could feel the love and peceful energy. The abundant children laughed and played, getting a little bigger every year, too. Another 10 years flew by and we moved it to the present location, a long narrow meadow now known as "the solstice field". After another decade we built a stage, outhouses and a kitchen, and started having an electric stage. The old traditions of homemade pizza, congas around the campfires, volleyball and kids in the creek continue to this day.
Many people make this event what it is. Not wanting to charge my friends the ticket fee, my guest list tops 600, which is a bone of contention with the other organizers. This year someone wanted to be "on the list" but still pay the $40. So I am putting everyone "on the list" and everyone can pay the $40. You have all year to scrape up a couple of twentys. Talk to me in advance and I'm sure to give you a pass, but I can't justify a 600 member guest list any longer. The profit, if any, goes right back into next year's summer solstice celebration. We'll finish the kitchen, work on roads, campsites, a playground, and are open to suggestions.
I look forward to seeing everyone on the longest weekend of the year.