Fifty years ago, 400,000 young people descended on Max Yasgur’s farm in the tiny town of Bethel, New York, for the Woodstock music festival. Billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music,” the event quickly became a mud-soaked mess thanks to heavy rains, abundant drugs and overflowing toilets.
Yet there was a sense of unbridled exhilaration as some of the music and counterculture of the day was on display and for better or worse, things would never be the same.
Now while most of us weren’t even born when this field of tie-dyed dreams was taking place, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth marking the anniversary with a few friends, a few drinks and hopefully a little less mud – just keep an eye on the weather.
The Spirit Of The Original
As the news report above showed, one of the most astonishing things about Woodstock was the lack of violence. The concert remained peaceful despite the uncomfortable and unfortunate circumstances experience by the concert-goers, such as rain and mud, over-crowding and inadequate toilet facilities.
Woodstock was a success for the hippies in that they were able to demonstrate that the counterculture could come together and live peacefully and freely without interference from “cops, guns or Nixon”; it represented an open, classless society of music, sex, drugs, love and peace.
Now while we don’t encourage you to have nearly as many people, we do encourage you to bring the spirit of the event to your weekend gathering. If you can provide a bathroom, food and a good amount of alcohol, you’ll be one up on the original, so let’s call it a Neo-Woodstock party.
Now realistically, no-one who went to Woodstock would probably be drinking cocktails. In all probability, cocktails would have been considered part of the bourgeois comforts of their parents and something that completely lacked any spirituality. Or as Bob Marley once said, “Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.” Damn hippy’s …
With the clarity of hindsight, we can tell you what they should have been drinking. Yes, they would have been after heathy cocktails.
First, we have the A Beet and Rosemary Cocktail
And what would any Woodstock party be with a good healthy dose of Kombucha – this recipe mixes it with rum for a Ginger Honey Kombucha Punch
This is very much an outdoor event, so your backyard, rooftop or even a local park would be ideal. And it doesn’t take much to make it work – cushions, old rugs, a bean bag or two and your environment is set. If you are doing it at home, then stringing up some lights would add some nice ambience. Amassing everyone around a low table or a few wooden pallets is the perfect way to get everyone mingling and if they are sitting on the ground, it adds a casual feel.
Unlike the real Woodstock, we think it’s kind to feed your guests, so here are a couple of really simple, hippy approved, era-relevant dishes on which your friends can chow down.
Now you might not think it but you owe your Avocado toast to the hippies. This modern delicacy is as rooted in the ’60s-era LA health-food hot spot the Aware Inn, where they served “moonshine-whiches”: sprouts and avocado on soya bread. Indeed, the avocado-sprout sandwich, sometimes goosed with havarti cheese, was a hippie staple. (YES …below we’ve provided a video because there is nothing better than watching someone make a big deal about making something so simple.)
Grain bowls are another hippy staple. They are a direct descendant of that hippie food-par-excellence, the tofu stir fry with brown rice and veggies, which is itself a grain bowl.So if you thought those rice bowls/grain bowls were a new whole foods approach, then it’s time to realise that whatever healthy thing you want to do, there been a hippy doing long before you. Now Bon Appetit announced back in 2015 that their love for grain bowls knew no bounds and happily provided a bunch of variations. As they said, “Composed of, well, grain—rice, farro, barley, quinoa, Kamut, you name it—and topped with veggies, a protein, and a dressing, grain bowls are the easiest way to make and eat a hearty yet light meal we can think of.”
If you are unsure what you’ll talk about, then we have a few articles that can provide some fun facts for you and your guests.
PBS Announces Woodstock Documentary Honouring Festival’s 50th Anniversary
The Museum at Bethel Woods launches Woodstock archive
Woodstock 50th Anniversary: 10 Facts About The Iconic 1969 Counterculture Festival
Archaeologists Dig Up 1969 Woodstock Festival Concert Field
Original Woodstock Site Will Host 50th Anniversary Festivities This Weekend