1st Edition

Woodstock University

Edited By Oliver Lovesey Copyright 2023
    120 Pages
    by Routledge

    120 Pages
    by Routledge

    Woodstock University addresses the educational interface of 1969’s iconic Woodstock Festival, as a number of its attendees and performers would later become academics 'with a touch of gray,' and it also considers the role of music in Woodstock’s legacy as the embodiment of 1960s countercultural idealism, escapism, and activism. A self-mythologizing event, as indicated by congratulatory stage announcements, Woodstock made a real-time claim for its own historic importance. Elevated by its remarkable (and in some cases doctored) audio, celluloid, and oral history afterlives, Woodstock would enhance the aura of rock star celebrity, and in the process expose the counterculture as a cash cow and weaponize the machinery of corporate rock.

    The essays in this collection are the participant observations of performers and attendees of Woodstock and related festivals, and also the reflections of cultural historians on aspects of the festival, its representation, and its ambiguous legacy.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal Popular Music and Society.

    1. Introduction: The Idea of Woodstock

    Oliver Lovesey

    2. Scattered Brightness: A Performer’s View of Woodstock 1969

    Rose Simpson

    3. Woodstock: Reminiscences of a Psychoanalyst

    Charles W. Dithrich

    4. The Woodstock Sandal

    Charles Cantalupo

    5. Pop Art at Woodstock: Sha Na Na

    Oliver Lovesey

    6. The Festival for Peace: Some Ruminations on My Journey through Music

    Thomas M. Kitts

    7. Woodstock and the Live Sound Industry in the Late 1960s

    Sergio Pisfil

    8. The Beatles at Woodstock

    Kenneth L. Campbell

    9. From Woodstock to Glastonbury to the Isle of Wight: The Role of Festival Films in the Construction of the Countercultural Carnivalesque

    Chris Anderton

    10. Woodstock 2019: The Spirit of Woodstock in the Post-risk Era

    Andy Bennett


    Oliver Lovesey is Professor of English at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, Canada, and is the author of monographs on Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and George Eliot. He edited Popular Music and the Postcolonial, and his most recent book is Popular Music Autobiography.