ON SCREEN: A still from the film  Woodstock: Can't Get There From Here , by American filmmaker David McDonald.
ON SCREEN: A still from the film Woodstock: Can't Get There From Here , by American filmmaker David McDonald.

Film explains Woodstock's counter-culture history

THE American city of Woodstock in New York state and Nimbin are sister cities.

The sisterhood came about when, in September 1996, David Hallet, the president of the Nimbin School of the Arts, made an official visit to Woodstock.

Linked by their trademark counter-culture loving communities, there is more to Woodstock than having held the best-known music festival in modern history, and locals can see more of it on screen.

Woodstcok Museum ambassadors Nathan Koenig and Shelli Lipton have brought the documentary Woodstock: Can't Get There From Here, by American filmmaker David McDonald.

The film offers a history of the American counter-culture through the town that bears its name.

The film is described as a wild and psychedelic ride through 100 years of counter-culture history, "from the outrageous Maverick Festivals of the 1910s to the days when Dylan, Joplin and Hendrix walked the town's streets as residents."

Mr Koenig explained the reason why they decided to screen the film in Lismore.

"I think it's the best documentary about the history of Woodstock the town," he said.

"Woodstock Museum is about the town, the festivals and the notion (of the place).

"Woodstock has been a utopian arch county since 1902, the big bang happened in 1969, and we have this hip film-maker called David McDonald who did deep research into the past and put together this documentary.

"It covers the whole thing beautifully, including what everybody wants to know about, when the rockers and the folk singers, when (Bob) Dylan and (Joan) Baez, (Jimi) Hendrix and (Janis) Joplin all came to town.

"He was there and worked with a lot of the people that were there, and we are very good friends so we want to show his film."

Shelli Lipton said McDonald initially came to the museum at Woodstock to check if there was such a thing as a film about the town's history.

"The reason we did it is because everyone knows about the 1969 festival, but there have been several festivals since, some of them free festivals that have attracted thousands of hundreds of people," she said.

"It's not just a concert, it's a town.

"Most people don't realise it's the spirit of Woodstock that attracts the film makers and the musicians and artists.

"The 1969 festival was not the first Woodstock festival, there were other music festivals before, in the early 1960s."

"We said no, our interest is Woodstock Down Under, a comparison between Woodstock and Nimbin and each of the influences of those towns," she said.



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