Woodstock or Bust: Film Review

With it being days away from the 50th anniversary of the iconic 1969 festival Woodstock – and the fate of the troubled Woodstock 50 festival in the headlines – it’s no surprise that we have a film connected to it.

Woodstock or Bust stars Willow Shields as Lorian and Meg DeLacy as Meryl, two best friends and budding musicians who become convinced that Woodstock is where they should go to launch their professional music careers. Once they’ve fooled their parents, the girls embark on a road trip during which they encounter numerous obstacles that test their friendship.

The tone of Woodstock or Bust is quite confusing. In the beginning, I got the impression it was going to be this light frivolous comedy about a girls’ road trip but the plot takes some serious turns that I wasn’t expecting. It made them all the more shocking and surprising I suppose. It’s definitely more of a drama, although it still feels light-hearted outside of the one main serious incident which should have been given more gravity.

I only really know Shields from The Hunger Games so it was cool to see her doing something different. She had good chemistry with DeLacy and I liked how you could see the tensions bubbling beneath the surface until it all comes out at the end. They have issues with each other that they manage to bury usually, but the disastrous road trip makes them all come out. DeLacy also has a stunning singing voice.

The storytelling could have been clearer – I got a bit confused about what was happening during their encounter with Beatles lookalike Nick (Teddy Van Ee) – and I would have liked the characters to have been clearly defined outside the realm of their friendship, but it was amusing watching them trying to trick their parents and having minor issues on the road plus the dramatic stuff really makes you sit up and pay attention.  All in all, Woodstock or Bust is an uneven but easygoing, pleasant watch.

Available on streaming platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and DirecTV from Tuesday 13th August 

Rating: 3/5

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