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WOODSTOCK 50TH ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL GETS A NAME & DATE

fter a couple months of speculation and rumors, the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival has officially been announced, via a Facebook event page. The announcement from Bethel Woods today reveals that the a three-day event will take place on August 16th-18th in 2019, hosted in partnership with Live Nation Concerts and INVNT. The festival will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the legendary Woodstock Music Festival. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Live Nation and INVNT to produce Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival,” said Darlene Fedun, CEO, BWCA. “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.”

The new festival is said to be a combination music festival and cultural event, featuring “TED-style talks” as well as the Museum at Bethel Woods. Artists will span “multiple genres and decades,” giving more credence to the supposed pitch deck that leaked last month. Artists being approached at the time included: Chance The Rapper, Pink, Mumford and Sons, Lumineers, Neil Young, Phish, Joan Baez, Bon Jovi, Elton John, The Doobie Brothers, Daft Punk, Swedish House Mafia, deadmau5, and Skrillex.

Most recently, Santana has said that if he’s approached to play, he’d absolutely accept.

Lineup and ticket announcements are expected soon.

 

 

 

 

The announcement from Bethel Woods comes as Ulster County resident Michael Lang, who with partners staged the original Woodstock festival, is gearing up to hold his own celebration. Lang has yet to release details about a date, location or performers for his event, which is not affiliated with Bethel Woods.

Bethel Woods described its festival as a “pan-generational music, culture and community event” featuring live music performances and TED-style talks “from leading futurists and retro-tech experts.”

The gathering will be presented by Bethel Woods, Live Nation and INVNT, a branding and live storytelling agency. Bethel Woods works often with Live Nation, one of the nation’s largest concert promoters, as it stages concerts at its performing arts center.

In addition to the existing venues at Bethel Woods, entertainment villages and a number of custom-built performance areas will be created for the festival.

Two anniversary shows

Lang, who staged Woodstock anniversary concerts in 1994 and 1999, told the Journal that he has “definite plans” to hold a 50th anniversary concert in 2019.

The public face of the Woodstock festival for five decades, Lang told the Journal that his anniversary festival will be built around sustainability, activism and social justice, themes that “hopefully encourage people to get involved with our lives on the planet.” Lang said his goal is to harness the “history and essence of what Woodstock was.”

The events give fans two ways to remember the famous festival in its milestone year. It also may create a division among fans who wish to celebrate at the site versus celebrating with an original promoter.

Doug Sawicki of LaGrange said, “Can you have it with one and not the other? I don’t know. They kind of go hand-in-hand.”

But, Sawicki said, “There is something to be said for having the anniversary on the original site. That’s where the event took place. That’s where all the history was made.”

A year of celebration

In addition to the anniversary weekend festival, Bethel Woods in 2019 will celebrate the Woodstock milestone with:

  • We Are Golden,” an exhibit at the Museum at Bethel Woods that will examine Woodstock and the global aspirations of youth living in 1969. “This exhibition uses the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a metaphor for the tumult and human response of the entire decade of the sixties in the hope that young people today may draw inspiration to articulate what it is that they want from their own world in their own time,” reads an announcement from Bethel Woods. This exhibit is scheduled to run March 30-Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Conversations, workshops and round tables driven by Woodstock, music and history.
  • Performances in the Event Gallery featuring veterans of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, including Ulster County resident John Sebastian on Oct. 19.
  • A screening on the festival field of the director’s cut of “Woodstock,” the Academy-Award winning documentary about the concert.

John W. Barry: jobarry@poughkeepsiejournal.com, 845-437-4822, Twitter: @JohnBarryPoJo

You may be familiar with the music, but did you know organizers had 30,000 loaves of bread on hand af Woodstock? John W. Barry/Poughkeepsie Journal

Woodstock fun facts

According to the New York State Police:

  • Out of the hundreds of thousands of people who attended Woodstock, only 109 were arrested at the festival, all but four for drugs, “but no instance of violence came to the attention of troopers.”
  • Troopers booked 270 people on 408 charges who were either on their way to Bethel or returning home, and confiscated “a substantial quantity of drugs.”
  • According to a New York State Health Department report dated Sept. 25, 1969: “Two companies provided 650 individual toilet seats and 200 urinal spaces. This number was planned to serve 60,000. Servicing was difficult due to crowds, stalled cars and mud. There were long lines at some of the toilet sites; however, the spirit of helpfulness and sharing allowed maximum use, not to mention the lack of inhibition on the part of the Aquarius generation. …” 

According to documents obtained from the Sullivan County Historical Society, Food for Love, the company hired to provide food, made the following projections based on 50,000 people a day for a three-day festival. This is a sampling of the entire food list:

  • Bread: 30,000 loaves.
  • Marshmallows: 10,000 packages.
  • Peanut butter: 1,500 pounds.
  • Napkins: 600,000.
  • Milk: 20,000 gallons.
  • Cheese: 5,000 pounds.
  • Coffee: 2,000 pounds.
  • Plastic eating utensils: 900,000 pieces