The years 1969, a Beatles LSD ballad plays in the background while Woodstock is in full force. It’s easy to imagine the free love atmosphere, drug induced sensuality, freedom of a generation and the rebellion of adolescence. Pass around a joint, grab a psychedelic and enjoy the ultimate trip as you experience youth in revolt. Although the Beatles declined the offer to play in the well-known festival (Lennon couldn’t get the boys together); The Who, Blood Sweat & Tears, Santana and Jimi Hendrix, among countless others acted as background music for one of the most memorable music celebrations of it’s time.
An almost ‘cult-like’ following, thousands upon thousands of young people donned beads and long hair whilst rejecting conventional values and embracing hallucinogens. The music of this time period controlled almost every fissure of the musical spectrum, classic rock inspiring a generation. What was (and is now) playing on the radio said more about those listening than anyone originally thought.
2014; a year that the top 40 will no doubt be commandeered by EDM. A year where main stream artists such as Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber will continue to use electronic drops and bass fluctuations to keep their fan base interested, and their music relevant. The newly commercialized rave scene is making some of the greatest parties on earth more accessible to everyone. The corporate professionals of today are profiting off of our youths drug and music culture. “Ravers,” are our generations’ hippies.
From a business perspective, it’s brilliant. And as much as we love to think about how INK or UMF is raping our wallets with $8 water bottles after purchasing $300 festival tickets… it's not usually on our minds as we’re being thrown around in the middle of a drug fueled mosh pit. New age thinkers were never ones to focus on the monetary value of their experiences, but someone was profiting off of it.
With a new era of music, and the promise of a big year for our favorite artists, it’s interesting to take a look at what and who is funding our obsession. Where we were as a generation 45 years ago, and where we are today in regards to the music industry may just surprise you.