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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Woodstock celebration changes direction

By Patricio Robayo - staff writer

By: Democrat File Photo
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has scaled down their Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration, instead focusing on season-long events that will mark the historic festival of 1969.
BETHEL — Plans for the Woodstock 50th Anniversary weekend of August 16 have changed according to a news release by Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.
What was once dubbed a three-day concert weekend of “Music and Culture Festival: Celebrating the golden anniversary at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival” is now called “A Season of Song and Celebration” and will have former Beatle Ringo Starr kick off the weekend series of concerts.
The weekend will now have three separate events over four nights along with a year-long schedule of exhibits, programs and activities.
Just this week the global live brand storytelling agency, INVNT, that was part of the celebration has dropped out.
“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,” said INVNT 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,” said Cullather in a new release.
The Democrat reached out to INVNT about the reasons for their decision, but had not heard back by press time.
When the Democrat reached out to Bethel Woods concerning the departure Bethel Woods CEO Darlene Fedun said “INVNT is a very talented production and promotion firm with an excellent team of individuals. We remain grateful for their passion, partnership, and support of our mission and commitment to celebrating the legacy of the festival and its power to inspire positive social change.”
What's going on?
Before the change in direction, Bethel Woods said the festival was supposed to be “Three days of memorable experiences will include live performances from prominent and emerging artists spanning multiple genres and decades and TED-style talks from leading futurists and retro-tech experts.”
Bethel Woods now says they will not only focus on the anniversary weekend but will offer events throughout the summer.
“It has always been our intent to celebrate the anniversary all season long and not just focus on three days in August. Ensuring the Museum and historic site were accessible during anniversary weekend is paramount to the community and our guests,” said Fedun.
The Lineup
The celebration will now start on August 15 and will go to the 18th and will offer, “A wide breadth of programming and activities that include special exhibits; access to new areas of the festival grounds for further historical interpretation; dozens of musical performances by legendary and contemporary performers on our stages,” said Fedun.

Thursday, August 15 A screening of the Warner Bros. Academy-Award winning documentary, Woodstock: the Director's Cut will be held on the historic festival field. It is an experience unlike any other to watch the documentary that chronicles the emergence of the Counterculture movement on the very field where it was filmed a half-century ago.

Friday, August 16: Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band will take the Pavilion Stage, along with Arlo Guthrie, who performed just after midnight on Friday, the first day of the festival; as well as Edgar Winter with The Edgar Winter Band, returning to Bethel for the first time since performing at the festival with his brother Johnny Winter.

Saturday, August 17: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Woodstock legend, Santana returns to Bethel Woods Pavilion Stage, exactly 50 years after his groundbreaking Saturday afternoon festival performance. Special guests The Doobie Brothers will join Santana.

Sunday, August 18: TBA

Furthermore, there will be an anniversary brunch and a national poster contest.
“Experiencing the Woodstock film on the very field where it occurred, and the new eight-part Vibrations series further highlights the spirit of peace and togetherness that made the Woodstock festival legendary,” added Fedun.

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