2019 marked the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival and we toasted the event in one of our Music Milestone posts that you can examine HERE when you have a chance. Though the plans for a 50th Anniversary Festival proved disastrous, the original site of the festival has just released some pretty cool information. You can see the press release below the poster for that original three days of history.
The Press Release:
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located in Bethel, NY at the historic site of the greatest festival of all time, is asking those who attended Woodstock over 50 years ago to join the Alumni Registry.
The Alumni Registry keeps the spirit of Woodstock alive through the stories and memories of the people who were there. The information provided from participants near and far is added to the permanent Museum archive, where it will serve as a useful research tool for visitors and scholars as they seek to learn more about the festival and its participants. The testimonies allow visitors to enrich their understanding of the event and its continued impact. Registry alumni will have the opportunity to receive information about special events and programs designed especially for them.
“Woodstock became an exemplary part of history because 450,000 strangers were able to come together and share in peace, love, and music, despite overcrowding and a lack of resources,” says Neal Hitch, Museum Senior Curator. “We’d like to hear from anyone and everyone who helped contribute to this legacy.”
The simple survey asks participants to recall those they attended the festival with, their favorite performance of the event, and consider what their Woodstock experience has meant to them in years since. The Museum also requests that the relatives of alumni who have passed to participate in their relative’s memory.
“We naively did not bring a tent or food. Planned on meeting other friends there that did have both. However, because of the overwhelming crowd it was not easy finding them. No problem…a group of people we had just met welcomed us into their camp site and provided us with both,” one alum, a female born in 1953 from Mount Sinai, NY recalls. “Everyone we came in contact with was generous and welcoming even the police that were there for crowd control… It truly was a magical experience to be with such a large group and share nothing but good vibes and great music.”
In addition to first-hand accounts, The Museum at Bethel Woods, is home to a large and growing historical collection that includes snapshots and home movies of the festival. The Bethel Woods Collection Online Archive features photographs and videos collected from nearly 30 contributors – all bringing new life and context to the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair. Less polished than the images most are familiar with, candid moments from before, during, and after the festival are captured, preserving both the joyous experiences of festival attendees as well as the less-than-perfect aspects such as mud and the traffic jams on rural country roads. Photos and videos are available for purchase and may be downloaded with licenses for personal, nonprofit, and commercial uses. To view, please click here.
For more information and to share a personal story or the story of a loved one, please visit BethelWoodsCenter.org/Alumni
About Bethel Woods Center for the Arts:
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts inspires, educates, and empowers individuals through the arts and humanities by presenting a diverse selection of culturally-rich performances, popular artists, and community and educational programming. Located 90 miles from New York City at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY, the lush 800-acre campus includes a Pavilion Stage amphitheater with seating for 15,000, an intimate 440-seat indoor Event Gallery, the award-winning Museum at Bethel Woods, and a Conservatory for arts education programming.
Through the in-depth study and exhibition of the social, political, and cultural events of the 1960s, as well as the preservation of the historic site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Bethel Woods educates individuals about the issues and lessons of the decade while inspiring a new generation to contribute positively to the world around them. The not-for-profit organization relies on the generous support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to develop and sustain programs that improve the quality of life in the region and beyond.
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PiercingMetal Thoughts: I love this idea and think that its a super cool thing to be a part of. I’m a technology guy so numbers and statistics about things along with complete list rundowns sometimes excite me. I know, it sounds weird but when you run a website and their social networks all of this stuff becomes important. To the best of my knowledge I don’t know a single person who might have gone to the original Woodstock Festival and I mean, I was already four years old when it was happening so I can’t even come up with a clever tale about my being conceived during it LOL. It’s my hope that those who attended can sign up for the registry and I mean those who really did attend. There was a quote in a film about how many people said they were there but weren’t at all. It’s my hope that by helping to share this news that it reaches people who were there themselves or know some of the folks. You’re all most welcome to share this announcement because we love website visitors and being helpful at the same time. Chime in down below with your thoughts on this and I hope the announcement finds you staying safe and healthy during this still precarious time. Until we meet here again.