Lucy Dacus says Woodstock “cannot be recreated, but it can be re-examined”

The new op-ed for the New York Times arrives after Woodstock 50 was officially cancelled last week.

Dacus writes, “Being born in the ’90s means that Woodstock is a part of my life only as a cultural touchstone, a symbol of something I can never claim. It’s difficult to decipher whether its aftershocks are coming from the source, or if my impressions of the event are products of distortion through the retelling and reselling of its history.”

The singer/songwriter goes on to discuss how Woodstock 50 shouldn’t be compared to the original Woodstock festival, “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. We should invite the voices who know the stories we haven’t heard yet to speak. 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.”

Dacus also goes on to state that she was looking forward to performing at the Woodstock 50 this month, “I am in no place to build upon the romanticization of Woodstock, nor do I have any right or desire to diminish it. I was honored that my band was asked to play the 50th anniversary event and I’m sad that it isn’t happening.”

She goes on to write, “Whatever Woodstock was, I can’t speak to. 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 realized, like the story isn’t over. The future of Woodstock rests with people who never knew it firsthand. It cannot be recreated, but it can be re-examined. With hope, it will continue to reignite the desire in us to gather and share, to find solace and feel free, even if momentary. And if these were the attributes of Woodstock that were truly at its core, they will survive the uncomfortable and necessary scrutiny that all history deserves.”

Read the full op-ed over on nytimes.com.



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