woodstock-1969 (1)Music. One of the few things that binds various cultures together. Music represents the passion and emotion people have, but do not know how to express. It is an outlet for anger, for sadness, for loneliness. From the very formations of civilizations, music has been an integral part of the culture. It is what has brought people together during hard times and given them hope during their darkest hour. In today’s society, one of the biggest ways music has brought people together is through concerts and music festivals. Music festivals allow for public opinions to be voiced.

Public opinion can be formed by exposure to various sides of debate. The first Woodstock, in 1969, was a place where public opinion was formed and promoted. During Woodstock, free speech was used in order to form the public’s opinion. Free speech is basically being able to express one’s opinions without retaliation. Woodstock is a perfect example of how free speech allows for the public’s opinion to be expressed, especially through song lyrics.

“One generation got old/One generation got soul/This generation got no destination to hold,” “Volunteers” by Jefferson Airplane. This is one of the more iconic songs that was played during Woodstock. Jefferson Airplane had an exhausting set, but when this song was played the entire audience came back to life. The song discusses that because of the Vietnam War, there is no future that awaits their generation. The public’s opinion about how they felt about the Vietnam War is clearly expressed in this song.

Another song that helped shaped the public’s opinion was “The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die” by Country Joe and the Fish. This song was one of the defining moments for the festival and helped start the antiwar campaign against the Vietnam War. “And it’s one, two, three what are we fighting for?/Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn, next stop is Vietnam/And it’s five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates/Well there ain’t no time to wonder why/Whoopee! We’re all gonna die,” these iconic lyrics helped initiated the anti-Vietnam campaign.

Reinforcement is consistently encouraging an idea or belief. Many of the performances during Woodstock focused on reinforcing the idea that war is not good and that society is going downhill. Country Joe and the Fish and Jefferson Airplane are two of music groups that helped reinforce the idea of an antiwar movement against the Vietnam War.

Woodstock was one of the biggest and most known music festivals, with “close to half a million people” in attendance, was created in order to promote peace in the country. It is guarded as one of the most impressive music festivals and had brought so many different people together with little to no violence. Woodstock was a place for people to peacefully protest the Vietnam War. Since the first Woodstock, music festivals have been popping up across the country. All these various festivals focus on so many different genres, such as blue, rock, EDM, country, and more. Some of the biggest music festivals today are Electric Forest, Electric Zoo, Electric Daisy Carnival, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Coachella. Each of these music festivals are starting to bring out their own form of persuasion.