Nearly 50 years ago, rock ‘n’ roll legends gathered at a dairy farm in the Catskill Mountains north of New York City for a four-day gathering, drawing a crowd of more than 400,000 onlookers for what became one of the most iconic music events thus far—Woodstock. Sets from Santana (pre-debut album), The Who (touring behind Tommy), Crosby Stills Nash & Young (playing their second live show ever) and Jimi Hendrix (with that performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” )—among many others—filled the air on those days in August of 1969, persevering through the rain and going down in history. Now, next August, a new festival is being held in celebration of 50 years of Woodstock.
Put on by the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (BWCA), Live Nation and INVNT, the event is being billed as the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival, featuring a special exhibition titled “We Are Golden: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Aspirations for an Aquarian Future.” Though the festival’s lineup has not yet been announced, the BWCA’s announcement describes it as featuring “prominent and emerging artists spanning multiple genres and decades,” musically, with “TED-style talks” from “leading futurists and retro-tech experts.”
The festival will take place at the location of the original Woodstock, though this time in “entertainment villages” and “bespoke performance areas” created just for the event. It is scheduled for August 16-18, 2019, almost exactly 50 years after the first.
“We are thrilled to partner with Live Nation and INVNT to produce Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival,” said Darlene Fedun, CEO of the BWCA, in a statement. “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.”
Revisit a few iconic Woodstock-era performances from the Paste archives below and stay tuned for more info on the festival’s 50th anniversary tribute.