Which song makes you nostalgic

Why we get nostalgic so easily: The longing for the past and the canceled Woodstock revival

Woodstock. Who wouldn't have liked to be there? All the great musicians, the bands, the feeling of departure. Mud? Sloppiness? Bad hygienic conditions? No matter. No concert, no festival is as glorified as the "Woodstock Music & Art Fair presents An Aquarius Exhibition - 3 Days of Peace & Music" - Woodstock for short.

The story of this historic music event in August 1969 has been told many times. In reports, books, films. That the festival didn't take place in Woodstock, USA, and not nearby, but 70 kilometers away in Bethel. That Joe Cocker's star rose there, that Janis Joplin's appearance was one of the worst of her career.

That the concert was both the climax and the end of the great hippie movement. That Jimi Hendrix at the end of the four and a half days - his performance began on Monday morning at 9 a.m. - deconstructed the US national anthem to such an extent that the country no longer knew how many stars are in the proud national sky. That Woodstock was the beginning of a new era.

The past is becoming more and more attractive

Everything in the past. All over. Actually. Because today what once was must no longer rest. Especially not when it is as successful, as charged, as historic as Woodstock. But the following applies not only to this epoch-making music event: the past is becoming more and more attractive. We live in an age of nostalgia.

For months, one of the initiators at the time, Michael Lang, had worked with allies to get a Woodstock 2019 up and running exactly 50 years later. Well, almost two weeks before the planned start on August 16, it is certain: The revival must be canceled - too many musicians like the rapper Jay-Z, Carlos Santana and Miley Cyrus who actually wanted to perform had dropped out. In addition, the search for a place turned out to be difficult.

But the idea of ​​bringing this major event into the present represents a bigger trend. Sure, Michael Lang also wanted to use the Woodstock name because it is incredibly attractive from an economic point of view. But it was clear from the start: Lang wanted to revive the past, especially the spirit of the peaceful, revolutionary hippie era.

Look for recipes in the past for survival in today

The city of Vernon, which had successfully resisted hosting the Woodstock Revival, said organizers: It regretted that Vernon supporters were “deprived of the unique opportunity to witness the rebirth of a cultural peace movement that started the world in 1969 has changed and that the world needs again ”.

Rebirth - as if one could transport the spirit of a bygone era one to one into the present at the push of a button. As if one only had to conjure up the ghosts of the past to knock the trumps of this world off their thrones.

But why should an event like Woodstock be repeated at all? What is the point of such a journey into the past? The wish fits into our age, in which people of almost all ages like to look back, conjure up the good old days and look for recipes in the past for surviving today and shaping tomorrow.

Nostalgic thoughts can affect how you feel

The past is heavily fashionable. Sneakers like the “Stan Smith” from Adidas or the comeback of brands like Ellesse and Fila are just as much a retro wave as serial successes like “Mad Men” (set in the 1960s). Motorola announced this year that it would be relaunching its Razr clamshell phone in a retro style.

Even the computer game industry, which is strictly forward-looking, brings retro consoles from Atari or Nintendo onto the market. Frankfurt's old town is being reconstructed, as is the city palace in Berlin. Vinyl is experiencing a renaissance like the Allianz insurance commercial, as you know, the one with the accident in Italy. There are people who had tears in their eyes in the cinema when the tomatoes tumbled out of the Italian truck on the screen like they did in childhood in the eighties.

Memories can evoke very warm emotions. And not just in the literal sense. There are studies that show that nostalgic thoughts influence how we feel: We feel warmer in cold rooms if we have fond memories of the past.

Still at the top: Woodstock is still one of the music festivals with the most visitors. Source: RND

Then there are perceived truths: In the past, everything was clearer, people were more friendly and courteous, everyday life and work were less hectic. Before, that means security and familiarity. No smartphone distracted people, no internet reinforced opinions, we made phone calls with landlines and cords. That's how it was back then. Beautiful or?