Forty years ago the Woodstock music festival featured tie-dyed bedecked hippies that espoused peace, love, happiness, fused with lots of freebies – speech, sex and pot – and a plethora of equally mind-blowing music. Now Las Vegas plans to vicariously relive those groovy days and, hopefully, provide a much needed boost to Las Vegas’ sagging economy as well, reeling in more visitors that spend more money on food, entertainment and gambling.
That’s the hope.
And the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas (three miles north of the end of the Las Vegas Strip) is banking on it, spending about $1.7 million on the promotional campaign between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends- $500,000 more than it normally would during the season.
They’ll be paying tribute to 1969 all summer long with free rock concerts and seasonal themes that feature the likes of yesterday’s music heavy hitters Blood, Sweat and Tears; Three Dog Night; the 5th Dimension; Rare Earth; the Grass Roots and Canned Heat.
John Van Hamersveld – artist known for his artwork for “The Endless Summer” in 1966 and for making the cover of the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” album in 1967 – will be painting two buses, one to be used as a stage.
Special videos shows are being planned for a giant screen hanging over the street that include rolling credits memorial for the 58,000 Americans killed or missing in action from the Vietnam War.
Each of the 10 casinos on the Fremont Street Experience are also making plans to tie to the 1969 theme.