Ringo, Santana to Headline Woodstock 50th at Original Site

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The field at Bethel Woods in 1969 (Photo: Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; used with permission)

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the cultural center located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, N.Y., announced today (February 19), the first acts that will perform at their edition of the festival’s 50th anniversary.

Ringo Starr will perform, as will several of the artists that played the legendary festival there in ’69, including Santana, Arlo Guthrie and Edgar Winter, at what’s being called Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival. The Doobie Brothers, who are touring with Santana this summer, will also be appearing.

The four-day event will celebrate the golden anniversary of the original, historic event, generally considered the most famous music festival of all time. However, it is scaled back from the original plans first announced in December.

An aerial view of Bethel Woods (Photo: Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; used with permission)

Coming August 16-18, 2019, nearly 50 years to the day after the original, this “pan-generational music, culture, and community event,” as it was called in a December press release, will be held at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which is approximately 90 minutes from New York City.

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band will headline on Friday, August 16, along with Arlo Guthrie, who performed just after midnight on Friday, the first day of the original festival. Also playing that evening is Edgar Winter with the Edgar Winter Band, returning to Bethel for the first time since performing at the ’69 festival with his brother, Johnny Winter.

On Saturday, August 17, Santana will perform, exactly 50 years after his performance at the ’69 festival. They’ll be joined by special guests the Doobie Brothers.

Watch Santana play the 1969 festival

The Sunday, August 18 lineup is still to be announced.

On Thursday, August 15, a screening of the director’s cut of the Academy Award-winning documentary, Woodstock, will be held on the historic festival field.

A spokesperson told Best Classic Bands that ticket information will be coming soon.

The organizers of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair announced on Jan. 9 the dates and location of what they describe as the official 50th anniversary festival. Woodstock 50 will be held Aug. 16, 17 and 18, 2019 in Watkins Glen, NY. Though no artists or details have been revealed yet but the official website notes: “Artist and Ticket Information Coming Soon.”

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“While the original site in Bethel remains close to our hearts,” the original festival’s organizer, Michael Lang, said in a prepared statement in late December, “it no longer has the capacity to hold a real Woodstock festival.

In late December the competing Bethel Woods event promised: “These 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. Festival-goers will also be able to visit the Museum at Bethel Woods, which tells the story of the 1960s through immersive media, interactive engagements and artifacts from the 1969 festival, as well as experience the special 2019 exhibit We Are Golden: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Aspirations for an Aquarian Future.”

On display at the Museum at Bethel Woods (Photo: Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; used with permission)

The three-day festival “will utilize BWCA’s state-of-the-art venues and facilities. Entertainment villages and a number of bespoke performance areas will be specially created for the occasion. Full details of the event line-up, ticketing, non-musical experiences, and brand activity will be released soon,” the announcement continues.

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts celebrations marking the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock are not produced, sponsored by or affiliated with Woodstock Ventures LC, the organizer of the 1969 Festival and its other reunion festivals, and are not WOODSTOCK® events,” the announcement further states in a disclaimer.

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts comprises the Pavilion Stage amphitheater that accommodates 15,000, an intimate 440-seat indoor Event Gallery, and the Museum at Bethel Woods.

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3 Comments so far

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  1. Harryo1995
    #1 Harryo1995 20 February, 2019, 12:25

    Not sure if you’ve read into other articles, but they are not headlining. They are the only artists that will be performing Thursday-Saturday and Sunday has not been announced. Festival was scaled back to a three day three separate concert events . Much smaller then a festival after INVNT left. May want to re word or re publish this

    Reply this comment
    • Greg Brodsky
      Greg Brodsky 20 February, 2019, 16:55

      Your comment about “only artists” is simply not true, Harry. The article clearly states the other acts on the bill for Friday and Saturday.

      Reply this comment
  2. Skeptical
    #2 Skeptical 23 February, 2019, 21:47

    Where does the money go?

    Reply this comment

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