We’re starting a new feature in the Style Blog, a play on ‘Throwback Thursdays,’ (better known as #TBT) in which we will dive into The Washington Post archives in search of past features and photos that pertain to current events.
The opening of Bonarroo Music Festival, which starts today around noon, felt like a perfect starting point for our series.
The constant stream of Instagrams and Tweets and Vines from modern day festivals (which we have been compiling in our 2013 Music Festivals grid) leave no mystery to what these multi-day extravaganzas look like.
But we found ourselves asking: How does the current atmosphere and style stack up to the hey-day of festivals in the late 1960s and ’70s?
Are we overtly self-referential to the few but iconic images of Woodstock that have been seared into the minds of younger generations as the pinnacle in festival culture? Or has electronic dance music and other relatively new genres played a part in adding new fashions to the mix?
Aside from the mustaches and long middle-parted hair (worn unironically), many of the best archive images feel remarkably current.
The giant crowds are decked in cut-off jeans, rolled Levis, Wayfarers, handkerchiefs and tees, Keds, tube tops, plaid and fringe — all of which will undoubtedly appear in the fields of Tennessee this weekend, likely paired together.
Perhaps the most notable difference is the scale, and relative acceptance of dirt. No “glamping” or running back to hotel rooms. It was old-school camping along with hundreds of thousands of your closest new friends, before trash consciousness was made into PSA’s for children.
Another revelation? Parents are correct when they say younger generations weren’t the first to partake of rebellion and drugs.
Festivals on the Mall likewise appear wilder, making the current iteration of Jazz in the Sculpture Garden feel incredibly tame.