According to CBS News, 1969’s famed Woodstock Music & Art Fair—Bethel Woods Center for the Arts–has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, the nation’s official list of sites with historic significance worthy of being protected and preserved. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the official announcement on Tuesday, referring to the festival as “a pivotal moment in both New York and American history.” The festival was famously documented in Michael Wadleigh‘s 1970 documentary, Woodstock. In the decades since Woodstock, the event has become synonymous with the 1960’s and the “Summer of Love,” and has been used as a distilled reference point for that era in American culture ever since.
The festival, which took place at took at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre dairy farm, was originally planned as a ticketed spanning from August 15th – August 17th, 1969 for an estimated 200,000 concertgoers. However, the grounds were decimated by weather and the mud bath that ensued, the gates (and surrounding highways) were overloaded by eager fans, and a myriad of other issues caused the event to stretch to roughly noontime on August 18th. At its peak, attendance swelled to an astonishing 400,000 people. The festival was the seminal event of the free-loving 1960’s counterculture: appropriately messy and out-of-control, yet uniquely powerful and beautiful.
You can watch footage of Jimi Hendrix’s iconic solo electric guitar rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” from his weekend-closing set at Woodstock–which began at 9am the day after the festival was set to finish:
The site which was later converted to a permanent amphitheater, Bethel Woods, which would host additional festivals (like Mysteryland) and notable bands like Phish, who played a three-night run at the Hudson Valley venue in 2011. You can listen to Phish’s fantastic soundcheck performance of “Waves” from the day before their Bethel Woods run below, courtesy of YouTube user BurningShoreProphet . OG:
[h/t – CBS News]