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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Mountain Jam coming to Bethel

By Patricio Robayo

Working with Live Nation, Mountain Jam is coming to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on June 13,14,15 and 16 and is expected to bring in 12,000 concertgoers.
BETHEL — For 14 years the jam band music festival known as Mountain Jam has been rocking out to audiences in Hunter Mountain. That's about to change.
Working with Live Nation, Mountain Jam will be jamming its way to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (BWCA) on June 13, 14, 15 and 16.
“We are very excited to see this event being relocated here to the Town of Bethel,” said Bethel Town Supervisor Dan Sturm. “This June, [a] concert should really help to kick off what promises to be a great, historic summer season.”
The bands that will be jamming out in Bethel this summer include Willie Nelson and Family, The Avett Brothers, Toots and the Maytals, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Joe Russo's Almost Dead and more.

In the past Mountain Jam has showcased musical artists such as Brandi Carlile, The Black Keys, Steve Winwood, Robert Plant and Tom Petty.
During a presentation to the Bethel Planning Board on February 4, BWCA Chief Financial Officer and General Manager Eric Frances said, “Live Nation just became a part of the festival and presented the opportunity to move the festival to Bethel Woods. We think it's a solid fit.”
BWCA has had a Special Use permit for the past 13 years, according to Frances, and does not need special permission to hold the festival.
Instead BWCA and Live Nation went before the Bethel Planning Board for camping permits.
According to Live Nation's Senior Vice President of Planning and Operations Wayne Goldberg, the festival is expecting to host 12,000 concertgoers during the festival weekend.
Out of those 12,000 people, Live Nation expects up to 6,000 campers to stay the entire weekend.
Using the grass parking lots at BWCA, Mountain Jam is looking to encourage weekend campers.
The festival will offer regular tent camping along with VIP glamping (glamorous camping), R.V. and Car Camping.
Goldberg said food trucks will be brought in to help feed the campers during the off hours of the festival.
According to Goldberg, each car will be inspected and campers will be allowed to stay on the grounds for the weekend. If the camper leaves the grounds, they will forfeit their ticket and not be allowed back in.
Much of the initial concept that was presented to the Bethel Planning Board on February 4 was based on Mysteryland Festival camping specs.
The Mysteryland Festival that came to Bethel Woods between 2014 and 2016, once had up to 9,000 campers on site. Live Nation has stated they only expect 6,000 people to camp throughout the weekend.
Live Nation's draft concept that was presented to the planning board said, “All involved in producing this event believe that launching during the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, at the original site, is critical to reinvigorating the fan base and celebrating the legacy of some of its iconic performers.”
Curating the festival lineup is Warren Haynes, a longtime guitarist with the Allman Brothers band and is the founding member of the jam band Gov't Mule.
Unlike previous concerts, Mountain Jam will not have multiple stages or music in the campgrounds. All music will be focused on the pavilion stage according to Goldberg.
“People like going there. It's an historic site. Bethel Woods runs a great facility and they're a top venue we do business with,” said Goldberg. “With attendance and infrastructure...we enjoy the work we do with them.”
Bethel Planning Board Chairman Daniel Gettel stated public hearings would be scheduled soon before camping permits are issued.
“They have a lot of work to do, but I think the town welcomes projects like this,” said Gettel.

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