The Encore Escape
Your Entertainment Destination on the
Building Woodstock 2019
It should be pointed out from the outset, that the creation of the Woodstock build was a labor of love and dedication from a large group of wonderful, hard working people (please see The Woodstock 2019 Team page ) Like any endeavor, success is always anchored to the people you work shoulder to shoulder (or in our case, keyboard to keyboard to keyboard) with. In that regard we consider ourselves in the best of company.
The concept of this event goes back among many of us for more than four years. Time spent researching hundreds of hours of video, reviewing thousands of photographs, forums and articles has given us a seasoned perspective, even though most of our team was not in attendance. We also wanted to thank & praise an online group we discovered about four years ago who inspired us. The Woodstock Project ( http://woodstockproject.proboards.com/ ) is a 19 year ongoing effort to assemble all possible information, audio & video recordings of the festival and assemble them in in chronological order with the input of hundreds of Woodstock attendees, aficionados, and dedicated fans. We should also mention our effort is dwarfed by theirs in comparison.
We knew from the beginning, the virtual world build needed a solid and firm foundation in the facts, so the landscape of the build presented many challenges. First we downloaded height Maps from the US Geological Society and NASA websites, but ended up obtaining our map from a site called "terrain.party. These maps were immense, 324 sq km area which represents over 80,000 acres. Heightmaps are very difficult to read and locating a 150 acre area, the size of our Woodstock region on it was a difficult task. We then contacted Terry Ford @ DigiWorldz and he suggested we talk to Orb Emerald who creates raw files and is on the DigiWorldz team.
Orb had the patience of Jobe, she was dealing with height files that had been reduced by 95%, but she still created four separate 768 meter x 768 meter terrains for us. Through no fault of hers, or lack of a tremendous effort on her part, we collectively determined the height files could not be accurately interpreted into an OpenSim raw terrain file. But luck was on our side, and we were able to download a topographic map created in 1967 by the US Geological Society. The Woodstock site has changed considerably since 1969 with the addition of an arena, parking lots, monuments and other structures. But we now had exactly what we needed to continue, and knew the only thing to do, was roll up our sleeves and do it the old fashioned way, terraforming by hand.
The task seemed well within our grasp, Rocky Hillburton is a Construction Manager/Superintendent for a national construction firm and has built commercial projects coast to coast. I am a State Certified Building Contractor from Florida, so when were got our hands on a topographic map, created in 1967 by the US Geological Society we knew exactly what to do.
Once the Woodstock site was located on the 64 sq mile topographic map, we scaled and isolated the 150 acre area we needed. We then reduced the map to a 768 meter x 768 meter image, which is the exact size of a 3 x 3 Var region (approx. 150 acres and the size of 9 SL sims). The image (shown below) was then rezzed on a gigantic megaprim and placed over the flat terrain of a 3x3 region.
Although topo maps are flat, they are a plethora of site information. Not only are to scale, showing roads, bodies of water and streams, they also represent the hills and valleys with contour lines. These contour lines represent increases and decreases in elevation, as well as the size or those areas.
To the untrained eye, the map to the right looks like a map with irregularly shaped circles, to a builder or developer it shows an exact representation of the terrain. The large blue area at the top of the map represents the south tip of Phillipini Pond, better known as Yasgur's Pond. Each of the contour lines represent 20' of elevation change, along with the shape of the hills which is also accurately defined.
The location of the Woodstock stage is representd by the blue X on the map and the contour lines tell us there was 100 feet of rise from the stage location to the top of the onlooking hills, making it easy to see the natural amphitheater terrain of the Woodstock site.
Once this map was placed over the 9 regions, we placed thousands of vertical risers on the region that followed the contour lines, each row increasing with a 20' change in elevation as it progressed from Yasgurs' Pond. Five of us spent about 150 hours on the task, and when we finished, we felt confident we now had an accurate representation of the Woodstock Site Terrain.
We were also lucky to locate & download copies of the original developers' blueprints used to develop the site in 1969. These plans gave us additional information. such as trees, bushes, fences, telephone poles, structures and even adjacent cornfields tweaking the site even closer to how it existed in 1969. (See image below)
Once the terrain was established it was time to create the performers stage, associated equipment, sound & light towers, concessions, traffic jams, surrounding festival-goers campsites, as well as the performer’s pavilion & bridge over West Shore road to the world renowned Woodstock stage. The same attention to detail was employed in these builds (with the help of reviewing thousands of actual event photo's, blogs & websites) Hundreds of vintage vehicles, campers, truck & trailers needed to be placed on the build. Tents, campfires, coolers, beer kegs, water pipes, blankets, lawn chairs, posters and concessions would need to be scattered across the 150 acre build to accurately represent the site.
To lend even more realism to the event, we wanted to fill the audience area, backstage and campsite's with NPC avatars. This is in no way an effort to boost or boast about the festival attendance. We contacted Terry Ford, who supplies our servers and backend support, and asked him about it. His reply simply was "No one has ever tried to do something like this, let's find out" so we scheduled a test with about 350 active NPC avatars on the Woodstock region. Terry reported that as far as he could tell, from a backend server support perspective, everything looked good regarding the test. So we feel even more confident with the knowledge that the build will be moved to a completely separate server for the event, and the test was run on servers already running existing loads of over 60 regions on our grid. With the addition of other prim based avatars who are not active, we project the event will already have over 600 festival goes prior to real avatar visitors attending. Our plans are presently to throttle live avatar attendance to 300, the event as it occurs of course, will dictate what actually happens.
Woodstock 2019 is a completely free event, it represents an opportunity for all of us, whether from Sl or the OpenSim, to gather together, enjoy ourselves and music while connecting in the process. Come to think of it, isn't that exactly what happened about 50 years ago on a 600 acre farm just outside of Bethel, New York at a place known the world over as Woodstock?
Potlatch Foggarty, Event Coordinator