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Rival Woodstock anniversary events planned for 2019

Live Nation-backed Bethel Woods Festival, held on the original festival site in Bethel, NY, will go head to head with Michael Lang's official Woodstock 50 event

By Jon Chapple on 02 Jan 2019

BWCA is located on the site of the original 1969 Woodstock festival

BWCA is located on the site of the original 1969 Woodstock festival

image © Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (BWCA), the events venue located on the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, has finalised plans for a 50th-anniversary event this August, in partnership with Live Nation and marketing agency Invnt.

Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival, set for 16 to 18 August 2019, will celebrate the legendary festival’s golden anniversary with “live performances from prominent and emerging artists spanning multiple genres and decades”, as well as “TED-style talks from leading futurists and retro-tech experts”, according to a launch announcement.

“We are thrilled to partner with Live Nation and Invnt to produce Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival,” says Darlene Fedun, CEO of BWCA. “Fifty years ago, people gathered peacefully on our site inspired to change the world through music.

“As the stewards of this historic site, we remain committed to preserving this rich history and spirit, and to educating and inspiring new generations to contribute positively to the world through music, culture and community.”

“As the stewards of this historic site, we remain committed to preserving this rich history and spirit”

While the Bethel Woods festival will be the only anniversary event to take place in Bethel, New York, on the site of the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair, promoter Michael Lang – who organised the original ‘three days of peace and music’ in 1969 with John P. Roberts, Joel Rosenman and Artie Kornfeld, and who runs Woodstock Ventures, the owner of the Woodstock trademark – is still pushing ahead with plans for his own ‘official’ Woodstock 50 festival, first announced way back in early 2016.

“While the original site in Bethel remains close to our hearts, it no longer has the capacity to hold a real Woodstock festival,” Lang says in a statement.

He adds, however, that he’s “delighted that Bethel Woods is doing events in the coming year to celebrate what we brought to life in 1969”.

More details about both Woodstock anniversary events are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.


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