BETHEL, NY— In 1969 hundreds of thousands of young people from across the country gathered on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York, and left as a community inspired to change the world through peace and love. Fifty years later, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts stands on that very spot, inspiring, educating and empowering a new generation through the transformative power of the arts.
Today Bethel Woods announced A Season of Song & Celebration, detailing the many exciting plans to celebrate the historic festival’s Golden Anniversary and welcome visitors from near and far back to the ‘garden’ throughout the year.
Located in the Sullivan Catskills 90 miles northwest of New York City at the National Register Historic Site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, Bethel Woods’ lush 800-acre campus includes an internationally ranked 15,000 capacity Pavilion amphitheater, an intimate 440-seat indoor Event Gallery, an award-winning Museum, and a Conservatory for creative and educational programs rooted in the arts and heritage of the its historic site.
“We are humbled by the interest in the anniversary year and we realized it was greater than we’d ever dreamed,” explained Darlene Fedun, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts’ Chief Executive Officer. “We recognize the importance of this place to so many, and our mission of preservation and interpretation of the 1960s is central to A Season of Song and Celebration, as it provides our guests the opportunity to reflect, to learn and to celebrate the legacy of what occurred here.”
A Season of Song & Celebration kicks off on March 30th, when The Museum and festival field reopen for the 2019 season, featuring the Special Exhibit We Are Golden – Reflections on the 50thAnniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Aspirations for a Peaceful Future. This exhibit examines the festival and what the youth of 1969 wanted for the world, while placing it in the context of the positive societal impacts that followed, and seeks to provide inspiration for today’s youth, while asking what they want their legacy to be.
On May 4th, the first phase of an important preservation project, the restoration of the Bindy Bazaar trails will welcome visitors for the first time. These trails originally served as a marketplace with 20 booths where vendors sold crafts, clothing, and exotic goods and connected two major areas of the festival grounds. By recreating the network of trails through the wooded area west of the festival field, guests will now be able to explore the area and see historic evidence of the market.
In June, the Summer Concert Season begins, and early announcements promise a star-studded lineup including Chris Stapleton, Zac Brown Band, Dave Matthews Band, Heart, Sheryl Crow, Woodstock alumnus John Sebastian, with many more to be announced. Additionally, for the first time Bethel Woods will host Mountain Jam, one of the Northeast’s largest rock festivals, on the weekend of June 13th, featuring Willie Nelson, Gov’t Mule, The Avett Brothers, The Revivalists and more than 40 additional bands.
During Anniversary Week, from August 15-18, a series of programs and events have been developed to welcome all who wish to visit the historic site and museum, to hear music where history was made, and to reflect and celebrate the legacy of this hallowed ground.
Highlights of Anniversary Week include extended museum hours, docent tours of the exhibits and historic site, and a variety of events and programs including:
Special 50th anniversary events and activities are supported in part by a grant awarded to Bethel Woods by New York State’s Empire State Development and the I LOVE NY Division of Tourism under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative.
Bethel Woods’ Season of Song & Celebration promises a uniquely memorable experience for those who journey to the historic site to celebrate the legacy of the greatest festival of all time. For more information about the events and programs planned throughout 2019, as well as additional details, and ticketing information please visit BethelWoodsCenter.org