Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Review
This is the site of the original, legendary 1969 Woodstock festival. For years that seminal event was commemorated with a small stone monument, but today the area has exploded into a true center for the performing arts, with a 15,000-seat outdoor performing-arts venue and the Museum at Bethel Woods. These facilities are set within nearly 2,000 rolling acres, about 8 mi from Monticello. Other venues at the center include a 1,000-seat outdoor Terrace Stage, the Museum Events Gallery—an indoor space for performance, lectures, and special events—and the original Woodstock concert site, which holds a permit for 30,000 concertgoers to attend major musical events. The Museum is a captivating and, to some, emotional, multimedia experience combining advanced museum technologies with film and interactive displays, text panels, and artifacts which heighten the unique experience of the three-day Woodstock festival. While music is the centerpiece, the displays dwell in detail on the cultural and political changes that made this era so significant: civil rights, the Vietnam War and political change. The site, which was purchased by Cablevision Industries mogul Gerry Allen in the mid-1990s, hosts Saturday farmers' markets (from July though late August) and themed Sunday festivals and crafts events (weekends from Labor Day through Columbus Day).