Event To Mark 50th Anniversary Of Woodstock
A 50th anniversary remembrance of the original Woodstock festival — the cultural touchstone moment that brought an estimated half-million people to a hillside in Bethel, New York, for a legendary three-day music festival — will be held at the original site, organizers announced Thursday.
Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival will be Aug. 16-18 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a nonprofit cultural center at the site of the original Woodstock festival at Bethel, which was held Aug. 15-18, 1969.
The festival will be produced by concert giant Live Nation. INVNT, a global live brand storytelling agency, also is a partner.
The festival will include live performances “from prominent and emerging artists spanning multiple genres and decades,” organizers said. No acts were announced.
The event also will have TED-style talks from leading futurists and retro-tech experts. Organizers called the festival a “pan-generational music, culture and community event.”
The site is now the location of the Museum at Bethel Woods, which tells the story of the 1960s through immersive media, interactive engagements, and artifacts from the 1969 festival.
A special 2019 exhibit, “We Are Golden: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Aspirations for an Aquarian Future,” will be offered during the festival.
“We are thrilled to partner with Live Nation and INVNT to produce Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival,” Bethel Woods President Darlene Fedun said.
“Fifty years ago, people gathered peacefully on our site inspired to change the world through music. As the stewards of this historic site, we remain committed to preserving this rich history and spirit, and to educating and inspiring new generations to contribute positively to the world through music, culture, and community.”
Organizers said “entertainment villages” and a number of performance areas will be created for the occasion.
They said details of the event lineup, ticketing, non-musical experiences and brand activity will be released soon.
In recent years, there has been interest in whether there would be a celebration of the festival’s 50th anniversary. Michael Lang, who as a 25-year-old produced the original festival, has floated the possibility of an anniversary festival, but announced no plans.
The Bethel Woods Center held a one-day concert to celebrate Woodstock’s 40th anniversary in 2009, with original performers Canned Heat, Richie Havens, Tens Years After, Jefferson Starship, Mountain and Levon Helm from The Band. About 25,000 people attended.
The original festival also included performances by The Who, Santana, Joan Baez, Grateful Dead, John Sebastian and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
But many of the original performers have passed on or no longer perform. Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner is dead, and singer Grace Slick no longer performs. Havens also is gone, as are Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and Janis Joplin.
The Grateful Dead has disbanded, and Crosby, Stills & Nash are currently not touring together. Baez is currently on what she has said is her farewell tour.
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