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FARM TO CONCERT VENUE

August 11, 2014

This week SUITE NY is in a groovy mood celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Woodstock 1969 festival, and what better way to commemorate the event than with a tidbit about the venue then and now.

The famed festival may have never happened had it not been for Max Yasgur, a dairy farmer in the town of Bethel, New York. Yasgur offered his land to Woodstock Ventures after their deal fell through with the original site.  Just one month before the concert was slated to take place, a deal was reached with Yasgur to rent his idyllic space in upstate New York, despite backlash from many of the local residents.

After the historical and cultural impact of the festival was realized, the site quickly became an iconic destination that attracted tourists from across the nation. In 2004 the property was transformed into Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; a sprawling concert venue, museum, and cultural center. The mission for Bethel Woods was to preserve the historical legacy of Woodstock, as well as the natural surroundings of the space, while providing a venue to attend performances and view relics from the transformative decade of the ’60s. During the design process and execution of the site, local, regional, and renewable resources were utilized and today, environmental conservation is continually practiced through sustainability, storm water management, and energy efficient systems. Countless concerts and musical events have taken place at Bethel Woods, including the 40th anniversary festival where Richie Havens performed “Freedom” on the great lawn.

Both Woodstock and Bethel Woods are reminders of the amazing things that can happen when people come together to provide music, peace, and entertainment to the masses.

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