A new music festival is reportedly in the works at the site of the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, NY. No lineup or dates have yet been announced for the concert at the former location of Max Yasgur’s dairy farm where the landmark event occurred from August 15th–18th, 1969.
“In a few weeks, hopefully we will be announcing a new multi-day festival in August for the main stage will be on the original ’69 field, which has not been the case for decades, so we’re very excited,” CEO of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts—the outdoor amphitheater at the hallowed Woodstock site—Eric Frances told regional tourism officials. Per the Mid Hudson News, the event is in its planning stages.
This new event would arrive 54 years after Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Santana, Joan Baez, and many more defined a generation with what became a free three-day concert. Back in 2019, a number of 50th-anniversary commemorations of the event were planned, including concerts produced by Live Nation, but perhaps none more infamous than the festival organized by the original Woodstock’s late founder Michael Lang. The ’60s concert promoter—who staged a number of Woodstock anniversary concerts to varying degrees of success—touted his event, set to take place at Watkins Glenn International in New York as “the real Woodstock 50.” But it would never be.
A number of setbacks continued to place Lang’s “real Woodstock 50” in jeopardy in the months leading up to the concerts. An impressive lineup of both current stars from Miley Cyrus to The Black Keys alongside Woodstock veterans like Dead & Company and Santana began to dwindle as reports circulated of non-payment. Lang’s investors ultimately backed out, prompting a series of venue changes that landed the proposed site of the festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD just weeks before the event was set to begin. After pivoting to a free event, Lang finally canceled Woodstock 50 on July 31st, nearly two weeks shy of the anniversary on August 15th–18th.
Meanwhile, Live Nation staged three days of concerts at Bethel Woods, the site of the original Woodstock festival. The event included original festival alumni John Fogerty, Santana (who jumped ship from Lang’s doomed festival), Arlo Guthrie, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and many more alongside Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ringo Starr, Grace Potter, and other contemporary acts. In the end, there really was only one “real Woodstock 50.”