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Santana, Ringo Starr to play Bethel Woods’ Woodstock anniversary

Joined by the Doobie Brothers and 1969 performers Arlo Guthrie and Edgar Winter, Carlos Santana and ex-Beatle Starr will play the retooled celebrations at Bethel

By Jon Chapple on 21 Feb 2019

Woodstock 1969, Bethel

Woodstock 1969

image © BWCA

Santana, Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band, the Doobie Brothers and the Edgar Winter Group have been announced as performers for Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (BWCA)’s Woodstock anniversary celebrations this August.

BWCA, the site of 1969’s Woodstock Music and Art Fair, last month announced plans for a music festival to celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary, going head to head with the official Woodstock 50 event organised by original promoter Michael Lang.

That idea now appears to have been dropped, with Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival – to have been produced by Live Nation and creative agency Invnt and featured “live performances from prominent and emerging artists spanning multiple genres and decades” – having morphed into a scaled-back ‘Anniversary Week’ forming part of a six month-long Season of Song and Celebration that kicks off in March.

“We are humbled by the interest in the anniversary year and we realised it was greater than we’d ever dreamed,” comments Darlene Fedun, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts’ CEO. “We recognise 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.”

“We are humbled by the interest in the anniversary year”

A Season of Song and Celebration begins on 30 March, when the BWCA museum – which will house a Woodstock exhibition, We Are Golden – Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Aspirations for a Peaceful Future – and festival field open for the 2019 season.

Following a summer concert season featuring performances by Heart, Sheryl Crow, Zac Brown Band and Chris Stapleton, as well as the Mountain Jam festival with Willie Nelson, 15–18 August’s Anniversary Week comprises:

  • Thursday 15 August: A screening of Woodstock: the Director’s Cut on the festival field
  • Friday 16 August: Ringo Starr and His All Star Band perform on the Pavilion stage, supported by Woodstock alumni Arlo Guthrie and Edgar Winter
  • Saturday 17 August: Santana, with special guests the Doobie Brothers
  • Sunday 18 August: TBC

No line-up has yet been announced for Woodstock 50, which takes place on the same weekend (16 to 18 August), some 150 miles away, in Watkins Glen, New York.


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