Lonely Planet Writer

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock at the original site

It’s been 50 years since Woodstock became one of the most iconic events in music history, and now anyone looking to relive the magic decades later can do so at an anniversary festival in 2019.

Audience watching performance on the Free Stage area at Woodstock 1969. Image by Ralph Ackerman/Getty Images

The 1969 festival was held in a field in New York State about 90 minutes from New York City. That legendary site has since become home to the Museum of Bethel Woods. Now, from 16 to 18 August, the museum and cultural center will host the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival to mark the anniversary of the original Woodstock festival. 

This year’s event is described as a “pan-generational cultural event”, which will include music, TED-style talks and special exhibits. The performers will include well-known and emerging artists from different genres and decades, and talks from futurists and retro-tech experts.

Visitors look at a multi-media show at “The Story of the Sixties and Woodstock” at the Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a museum built on the site of the 1969 Woodstock music festival, May 28, 2008. Image by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Beyond the festival events, the site is home to the Museum at Bethel Woods, which examines the 1960s through media, interactive exhibits and artefacts from the 1969 festival. There is also a special 2019 exhibit called We Are Golden: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Aspirations for an Aquarian Future.

“Fifty years ago, people gathered peacefully on our site inspired to change the world through music. As the stewards of this historic site, we remain committed to preserving this rich history and spirit, and to educating and inspiring new generations to contribute positively to the world through music, culture, and community,” said Darlene Fedun, CEO of the Bethel Woods Center of the Arts, in a statement.

While the festival is months away, local media has reported that hotel rooms are already starting to book up around that time. More details about the line-up, tickets and more will be released in the future.