Announced just after Christmas, the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival revealed they would be holding a special Woodstock 50th anniversary event at the original Woodstock site. While Bethel Woods did have to downsize the festival, the lineup will still include acts such as Santana and Ringo Starr.
Rumors were circulating for a good while from Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang about a celebratory anniversary event taking place to commemorate the iconic festival.
When an anniversary festival was finally announced—it didn’t come from Lang, nor is it associated with Woodstock Ventures LC.
The announced event is the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival. It was set to be produced by Live Nation, INVNT, and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (the music venue currently located at Woodstock’s original site).
Lang was not upset about the announcement, stating, “While the original site in Bethel remains close to our hearts, it no longer has the capacity to hold a real Woodstock Festival. I’m delighted that Bethel Woods is doing events in the coming year to celebrate what we brought to life in 1969.”
From August 16-19, 2019 @BethelWoods – historic site of the 1969 #Woodstock festival – @LiveNation and @INVNT will be bringing you Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival: Celebrating the golden anniversary at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival. pic.twitter.com/PlY0CxV155
— Bethel Woods (@BethelWoods) December 27, 2018
Originally Bethel Woods was billed as a “new three-day festival of music, culture and community” with TED-style talks and special exhibits for fans to enjoy.
However, INVNT announced today via press release that they would be pulling from the festival.
“INVNT will not be involved in the new format and we wish Bethel Woods and Live Nation, as well as the organizers of the other 50th anniversary celebrations taking place around the world, the very best,” says CEO Scott Cullather.
“Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival was always about putting fans at the very heart, by celebrating the legacy of the 1969 Woodstock festival – the artists who played there and the people who attended – and inspiring them to make the world a better place through carefully curated music, culture and community-driven experiences. We hope that past, present and future fans are able to revel in the celebrations this year, and that the events empower them to advocate for positive social change just as the 1969 festival did.”
The event is now forced to scale-down and “will now comprise three separate events over three days and forms part of the venue’s Season of Song & Celebration commemorations, a year-long schedule of exhibits, programs and events.”
We are excited to announce 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. pic.twitter.com/3X5NtDEMgh
— Bethel Woods (@BethelWoods) February 19, 2019
The three separate events will take place August 15-18 and is being billed as “Anniversary Week”.
Ringo Starr and his All Star Band, Arlo Guthrie, and Edgar Winter with the Edgar Winter Band will play Friday, August 16.
Santana and The Doobie Brothers will hit the stage Saturday, August 17.
The bill for Sunday has yet to be announced.