One often hears that millennials, those folks born around the turn of the millennium and in their late teens and twenties now, are more open to some of the things that we older people wrestle to grasp. Gender used to be a zero-sum game: male or female. Now it is a spectrum, a continuum, with transgender pronouns being bandied about in university lecture halls.
This past weekend thousands of millennials descended upon Montreal for the annual Osheaga music extravaganza. Three full days with numerous acts, few of which I had ever heard of.
Every year this event has me thinking about the big festivals of the late sixties. The grand-daddy, Woodstock in 1969, is still the benchmark against which these events will be forever compared. Like Woodstock this year’s version of Osheaga had thousands of young people, hot weather, significant rainfall and, mud.
Unlike Woodstock, if media coverage is to be believed, there was no nudity. I was too young to attend music festivals in the sixties, but the photos of the event, and many other similar festivals clearly indicate a penchant for attendees to get naked. Concert goers are shown ambling about starkers, or in various states of undress.
In July of 1972 to Rolling Stones played the Montreal Forum. It was a hot night both outside and inside the building. A photo on the front page of the next day’s Star newspaper showed a topless woman on a guy’s shoulders enjoying the show. Rumour has it that she kept a copy of the paper with her and bragged about her instant fame all over town.
Were there similar photos in today’s newspaper? Nope. The concert made the front page, but all are clad. C’mon millennials, what gives? Even as recently as 1985’s Live Aid concert in Philadelphia people got into the spirit and shed a garment or two.
Jeez, talk about a stuck-up generation!