As the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival draws closer, it appears that Bethel Woods has tweaked their plans for a celebration, swapping out the originally-planned festival of “live music, TED-style talks and special exhibits” for a series of stand-alone concerts.
The celebration’s main event will kick off with a screening of the Oscar-winning documentary, Woodstock: the Director’s Cut (Aug. 15). The following day, Aug. 16, will include performances by Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band, Arlo Guthrie and The Edgar Winter Band. Aug. 17 will feature sets by Santana and The Doobie Brothers.
In a recent interview with Jambands.com, Carlos Santana teased some collaborations for the Bethel Woods celebration. “What I plan to do for Woodstock is to have Santana be the house band and to invite some of the original members and also Joan Baez or members from the Grateful Dead who are here still to honor that day with that particular instrumentation of spirits and souls at that frequency,” the guitarist said. “I’m going to send out invitations, and those who show up will play.”
Programming for Sunday, Aug. 18, yet to be announced.
Part of the reason the event downsized from its original, three-day festival format was the departure of marketing agency INVNT.
“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,” CEO Scott Cullather wrote in a press release. “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.”
However, starting May 4, Bethel Woods will commence “A Season of Song & Celebration,” showcasing special exhibits and craft bazaars on the festival grounds, channeling the original spirit of Woodstock.
“We are humbled by the interest in the anniversary year and we realized it was greater than we’d ever dreamed,” Bethel Woods CEO Darlene Fedun explained. “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.”
For tickets and more information visit BethelWoodsCenter.org.
Meanwhile, original Woodstock promoter Michael Lang has yet to reveal his plans for a three-day anniversary event in Watkins Glen, NY, scheduled for the same weekend.
Check out the day-by-day lineup below:
Bethel Woods: Celebrating The Golden Anniversary
Thursday, Aug. 15
Screening of Woodstock: the Director’s Cut
Friday, Aug. 16:
Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band
The Edgar Winter Band
Saturday, Aug. 17:
The Doobie Brothers
Sunday, Aug. 18:
To Be Announced