BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — This weekend marked the 50th anniversary of Woodstock.
The historic festival celebrated both peace and love. It also changed the history of music forever.
Fans celebrated at anniversary concerts all over the country. In Brooksville, music lovers attended a three-day The Spirit of Woodstock Festival.
A lot of people were fans of Woodstock who didn't get to attend the concert.
A few fans, like Ed Czarnecki, remember the weekend in Bethel, New York, like it was yesterday.
“Back then, me and my friends, we always went to concerts. And this seemed like the biggest concert that was ever gonna be,” Czarnecki said. “It was just a great event, I mean, like everyone from that era just sort of came together.”
From August 15 to 18 in 1969, half a million people flooded a 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York. Artists ranged from up and coming performers to legendary singers like Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, the WHO and Janis Joplin.
The people who put together the Spirit of Woodstock Festival worried about the timing and location but knew they had to stay true to history.
“The turnout has been stunning, because at first when we thought about doing it, you’re thinking, a three day festival, outdoor festival in Florida, in August, who’s going to do that?” organizer Roseanne Herndon wondered.
About 1,500 people were willing to weather the storms and heat of the weekend.
The goal of the three-day festival wasn't to replicate Woodstock but to celebrate it half a century later.
“You can’t do a redo. No one can recreate Woodstock. So it was in the spirit of Woodstock that we did this which is why we came up with the name Spirit of Woodstock," Herndon said.
But concert-goers like Czarnecki couldn’t help but be taken back to Woodstock.
“They brought the spirit of Woodstock to this park,” Czarnecki said.
Of course, there were a couple of upgrades.
“This is way more organized like I said. There we didn’t have water for the first day, okay? I mean we had to get spring water, from the creeks. And the red cross was there to give us Clorox to pour into the water so we could drink it.”
A little less crowded and a little more organized, people like Julie Horak enjoyed celebrating Woodstock 50 years later.
“I have goosebumps right now because the trees, the life, the music, is energizing.”
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