In my last post, I discussed the possible development of a fictionalized city for a modern fantasy game Angela and I are planning on running. We’ve tentatively decided on Woodstock, NY – in a world where the 1969 festival brought on a population boom to the area.
The problem, of course, is that Woodstock wasn’t in Woodstock. The festival was held in Bethel, NY about 70 miles away. It was named Woodstock because the planners wanted to cash in on the mystique of the artsy town where Bob Dylan lived. Dylan, of course, didn’t even perform.
But what if he did? What if the partners in Woodstock Ventures had approached him early on and he’d gotten on-board, possibly buying some farmland around Woodstock, itself, to host the festival on?
What if the town of Woodstock got behind the festival – providing logistical support and infrastructure – as opposed to trying to undermine it like the locals actually did?
What if the approximately 400,000 people who descended on upstate New York that weekend – people who were treated as second-class citizens in most parts of the country – were welcomed with open arms. What if they had found sturdy, temporary housing for festival-goers that wasn’t going to be taken down anytime soon? How many of them would stay?
Could Woodstock have undergone a population boom? Could we have seen an influx of investment into the area? Maybe the founding of a liberal arts college or music school?