Peace, Love, and Marketing

It's been 30 years since hordes of wild-eyed music lovers converged on White Lake, a small town just north of New York City, for an event that would soon become an icon for a generation. Could anyone back then have imagined that, three decades later, Woodstock would cost $150/ticket and evolve into a marketing opportunity and website?

Metropolitan Entertainment, which is producing Woodstock 99 (set to take place in Rome, NY, by the way), has just announced its webcast partnerships with AMP3.com, Gotcha, and Mediabay. The company says that the official site for the Woodstock 99 festival, www.woodstock.com, will host a three-day continuous webcast beginning on Friday, July 23 at 12pm EST and ending Monday, July 26 at 2am EST. In addition to tracking the music onstage, Metropolitan says the site will offer viewers documentary programming including interviews, backstage footage, and clips from the Extreme Sports Park, along with comedy and lifestyle segments. Woodstock.com CEO Rand Bleimeister states that "This will set a new standard for how music events are presented over the Internet. The size and scope of this webcast are on a scale consistent with the enormity of the festival itself."

Woodstock 99 producer John Scher says that "Woodstock has always been about the free exchange of ideas. The Internet is the ultimate way to extend the Woodstock 99 community to give fans of music, sports, and entertainment all over the world the chance to be a part of the experience in a whole new way." The event will also be broadcast live via pay-per-view cable, satellite, and DirecTV.

The Woodstock 99 lineup includes Bush, The Chemical Brothers, George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, Collective Soul, Counting Crows, Creed, Sheryl Crow, DMX, Everclear, Everlast, Fatboy Slim, Foo Fighters, Godsmack, Guster, Mickey Hart/Planet Drum, Ice Cube, Jamiroquai, Wyclef Jean & the Refugee Allstars, Jewel, Kid Rock, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Lit, Live, Los Lobos, Dave Matthews Band, Metallica, moe, Alanis Morissette, Willie Nelson, Mike Ness, Our Lady Peace, Rage Against the Machine, Sugar Ray, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rusted Root, Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Offspring, and The Tragically Hip. Other than Micky Hart, who was with the Grateful Dead at the time, none of the original Woodstock '69 participants are so far slated to appear.

AMP3.com has signed on as official MP3 provider of Woodstock 99 and has planned a 10,000-square-foot digital demonstration pavilion at the event featuring streams and downloads of AMP3.com independent artists' music. AMP3.com claims it has delivered more than 350,000 downloads since launching its site four months ago, and has garnered attention in MP3 circles with its outspoken cooperative stance toward the recording industry's efforts to devise a secure standard for the MP3 technology. The company also says that all of the 3000 artists on its site are paid for every download of their music.

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