Celebrate Woodstock's 50th Anniversary With a 3-Day Music Festival at the Original Site

Courtesy of the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival
Courtesy of the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival / Courtesy of the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival

It might be time to bring the tie-dye headbands and bell bottoms out of storage. The legendary Woodstock concert is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the biggest way possible: with a three-day music festival at the same site where Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Who performed in August 1969. As the Associated Press reports, the former Woodstock grounds in Bethel, New York will play host to musical acts spanning multiple genres from August 16 to 18, 2019.

The lineup for the event, called the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival, hasn't been announced yet. However, both "prominent and emerging artists" will be on the bill, according to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which owns the concert and cultural venue as well as a '60s-themed museum on the site.

As for the "culture" half of the festival, it will feature "TED-style talks from leading futurists and retro-tech experts," as the arts center describes it. Guests will also have access to the forthcoming exhibit at the Museum at Bethel Woods We Are Golden: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Aspirations for an Aquarian Future, which opens March 30.

Bethel Woods also held a festival marking the 40th anniversary of Woodstock in 2009, which featured performances by Richie Havens (who opened the original Woodstock), Country Joe McDonald, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Canned Heat, and Jefferson Starship.

Although 400,000 people attended the original Woodstock—a seemingly impossible number by today's standards—the outdoor amphitheater at Bethel Woods holds just 15,000 people. Still, it's larger than a number of the country's other famous outdoor venues, like the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, or the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago.

In recent years, tourists have flocked to Bethel to take a historic walking tour of the Woodstock site. Last summer, researchers from New York's Binghamton University also held an archaeological dig to gain a deeper understanding of the grounds, but the "artifacts" they found were mostly shards of broken bottles and pull tabs from aluminum cans. Still, it helped them gain a better understanding of where certain performers stood, which will be used to create what the museum calls "interpretive walking routes" for the 50th anniversary festivities.

[h/t WJHL News]