“What Woodstock is today feels like a husk of a dream”: Lucy Dacus on the legendary 1969 festival

The fabled festival, through the eyes and ears of a millennial.

Lucy Dacus Head shot
Image: Matador Records

In an op-ed for The New York Times, Lucy Dacus unravelled the myth and legend of Woodstock ’69 from a point of view hardly taken when discussing the festival: a millennial’s.

The piece, which follows last week’s cancellation of Woodstock 50, calls for a “re-examination” rather than re-creation of the fabled festival. “Whatever Woodstock was, I can’t speak to,” Dacus wrote. “What it is today feels like a husk of a dream. And yet we are still drawn in by the lore, like we know the vision has yet to be fully realised, like the story isn’t over.

“The future of Woodstock rests with people who never knew it first-hand.”

The Virginian singer-songwriter also bemoaned the aesthetic ‘hijacking’ of the festival, where the cultural significance of Woodstock, against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War, has been reduced to sartorial style.

“It is an insult to the significance of the event to regurgitate its meaning solely through an aesthetic lens, so that its impact is reduced to fashion – flower crowns and paisley prints,” she continued. “If we are going to look back, we ought to take the opportunity to uncover more of the picture rather than allow the story to be further distorted.”

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Dacus, as part of Boygenius, had been booked to perform at Woodstock 50.

Read Dacus’ NYT op-ed in full at nytimes.com.

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