Some people thing that the subsequent Woodstock’s are the inheritors of the Woodstock Legacy, but I think it’s Burning Man, the week-long arts festival in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada attended by 65,000 or so people.
Burning Man is an unlikely enterprise to become what it has become.
It began back in 1986 as a bonfire ritual for the summer solstice on a beach in San Francisco. It was intended as an act of “radical self expression.” About a dozen people attended. But the thing became more and more popular, and after four years, the police stopped the burning of the effigy that was the show piece for burning man.
Eventually it moved to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. And grew and grew and grew.
Even though, you know, it’s not that easy to camp out in the desert for a week, literally in the middle of nowhere, and then take with you everything that you brought.
Over time, it acquired a certain cultural cachet. And now it’s been taken over — as just about everything else in our society — by too many wealthy assholes, who can fly in on their private jets and rent a fully loaded camper, and take any of the arduousness out of the experience. Last year there were complaints that there was a “DJ exhorting a crowd in a way that might work at spring break in Daytona Beach.”
So much for radical self-expression.
This is what the Woodstock generation has turned into.