Tune in, turn on, and drop...in.
While the inspiration is that defining moment of the peace and love movements from the 1960s, the event is proof that the Web has come of age in the all-so-commercial '90s. What's more, it appears that the Web is now one of the places to see and be seen. Stars participating include Andrew and Elisabeth Shue, Cindy Crawford, Michael Stipe of REM, Ken Griffey Jr., Kimberly Williams, Wu Tang Clan, and Ed McMahon.
The festival, touted as a "convergence of Hollywood and high-tech," will feature four days of ideas, action, and community. There will be concerts, chats, and conversations with celebrities as well as with politicos and technology luminaries.
The event also is being billed as a fund-raiser, but again in a very '90s kind of way. The ambitious festival is being sponsored by heavy hitters such as Applied Materials, Blockbuster Entertainment, Guess, Fox Television, MTV, America Online, Microsoft, and Yahoo to the tune of about $1 million. Any money left over from producing the festival will be donated to Do Something, a nonprofit youth leadership organization co-founded by Andrew Shue of Melrose Place.
Rebecca Garcia, who is managing the publicity for Webstock, added that this will be an online experiment.
"It's a new model for nonprofits," she said. "It's a way to get people in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to talk to people in Berkeley, California, about creek restoration projects, recycling, or mentoring."
Tom Hayes, executive coproducer of the event, along with Shue, said he hopes the project will build on the Web's power to build communities.
"The main goal is to get people plugged in and use the Web to create community," he said. "In 96 hours we can talk to each other and say what's on our minds and find out how a lot of folks feel the same about the world as we do."