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About Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a $100 million outdoor performing arts center and museum located approximately 90 minutes from New York City at the site of the original 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY. The 15,000 seat outdoor performing arts venue and The Museum at Bethel Woods are set within nearly 2,000 bucolic acres.

The Pavilion Stage can accommodate 15,000 guests both under cover and on a natural sloping lawn, while offering unique backdrops including the original festival site and the majesty of the surrounding Sullivan County countryside. Other venues at the center include a 1,000-seat outdoor Terrace Stage, the museum Event Gallery – an intimate 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. This season marks the 11th anniversary of the Harvest Festival, an annual event celebrating the bounty, talent, and beauty of Sullivan County and the surrounding area.

The Museum at Bethel Woods explores the unique experience of the Woodstock festival, its significance as a culminating event of a decade of radical cultural transformation, and the legacies of the Sixties and Woodstock today. Through personal stories and profiles, immersive multi-media exhibit displays and experiences, engaging programs, and educational events, The Museum will encourage inter-generational dialogue about important ideas and issues relevant to today. It will also help preserve the historic site on which the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place. The Museum at Bethel Woods is an impressive facility with a permanent exhibit space, a special exhibit gallery, Event Gallery and museum retail store.

The purpose of the arts center is to improve the quality of life in Sullivan County and the surrounding region by promoting economic development and interest in our region and its residents through arts, education, and culture at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. 

The Development of the Site

In 1996, cable television pioneer and philanthropist Alan Gerry fulfilled a life-long desire to take positive action to help improve the quality of life and economic vitality in his native Sullivan County. After a careful review of the range of possible alternatives available to implement his vision, he decided, under the auspices of the newly formed Gerry Foundation, to acquire the 37 acre field that was home to the original Woodstock festival and approximately 1,700 acres of surrounding property to explore the idea of creating a world-class performing arts center.

Two years later, the Gerry Foundation produced the three-day "Day in the Garden" festival, reawakening the fabled site. Four more days of music followed in 1999 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the historic 1969 event.

In 2002, the architectural firm Westlake Reed Leskosky was hired to plan and design Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Two years later Suffolk Construction was selected as general contractor and in 2004, ground was broken. Sustainable aspects highlight the venue’s campus. Local and regional materials and renewable resources were used to the greatest extent possible in the design and construction of the Center. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts contributes to environmental conservation through its use of resources and materials, storm water management, and energy efficient systems. In fact, over 1,000 trees have been planted on the new grounds.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts celebrates the natural beauty, cherished traditions, and bountiful products of Sullivan County. Trails and clusters of buildings open up vistas to the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The architecture expresses the familiar forms of the region’s barns and rural structures. Strong cedar posts and timber construction, copper roofs, stone from local quarries, and native plantings convey a sense of belonging to the countryside and makes visitors feel welcome and neighbors feel at home.

The planning and construction involved over 650 New York State laborers, local fabricators and craftspeople early in the design process to create patterns and use regional materials, products and trades.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts recaptures the magic of this legendary site by providing artists the opportunity to perform on its multiple stages and guests the occasion to enjoy concerts in an historic and extraordinarily beautiful setting.  

View our Campus Map.
 

About Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a $100 million outdoor performing arts center and museum located approximately 90 minutes from New York City at the site of the original 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY. The 15,000 seat outdoor performing arts venue and The Museum at Bethel Woods are set within nearly 2,000 bucolic acres.

The Pavilion Stage can accommodate 15,000 guests both under cover and on a natural sloping lawn, while offering unique backdrops including the original festival site and the majesty of the surrounding Sullivan County countryside. Other venues at the center include a 1,000-seat outdoor Terrace Stage, the museum Event Gallery – an intimate 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. This season marks the 11th anniversary of the Harvest Festival, an annual event celebrating the bounty, talent, and beauty of Sullivan County and the surrounding area.

The Museum at Bethel Woods explores the unique experience of the Woodstock festival, its significance as a culminating event of a decade of radical cultural transformation, and the legacies of the Sixties and Woodstock today. Through personal stories and profiles, immersive multi-media exhibit displays and experiences, engaging programs, and educational events, The Museum will encourage inter-generational dialogue about important ideas and issues relevant to today. It will also help preserve the historic site on which the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place. The Museum at Bethel Woods is an impressive facility with a permanent exhibit space, a special exhibit gallery, Event Gallery and museum retail store.

The purpose of the arts center is to improve the quality of life in Sullivan County and the surrounding region by promoting economic development and interest in our region and its residents through arts, education, and culture at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. 

The Development of the Site

In 1996, cable television pioneer and philanthropist Alan Gerry fulfilled a life-long desire to take positive action to help improve the quality of life and economic vitality in his native Sullivan County. After a careful review of the range of possible alternatives available to implement his vision, he decided, under the auspices of the newly formed Gerry Foundation, to acquire the 37 acre field that was home to the original Woodstock festival and approximately 1,700 acres of surrounding property to explore the idea of creating a world-class performing arts center.

Two years later, the Gerry Foundation produced the three-day "Day in the Garden" festival, reawakening the fabled site. Four more days of music followed in 1999 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the historic 1969 event.

In 2002, the architectural firm Westlake Reed Leskosky was hired to plan and design Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Two years later Suffolk Construction was selected as general contractor and in 2004, ground was broken. Sustainable aspects highlight the venue’s campus. Local and regional materials and renewable resources were used to the greatest extent possible in the design and construction of the Center. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts contributes to environmental conservation through its use of resources and materials, storm water management, and energy efficient systems. In fact, over 1,000 trees have been planted on the new grounds.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts celebrates the natural beauty, cherished traditions, and bountiful products of Sullivan County. Trails and clusters of buildings open up vistas to the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The architecture expresses the familiar forms of the region’s barns and rural structures. Strong cedar posts and timber construction, copper roofs, stone from local quarries, and native plantings convey a sense of belonging to the countryside and makes visitors feel welcome and neighbors feel at home.

The planning and construction involved over 650 New York State laborers, local fabricators and craftspeople early in the design process to create patterns and use regional materials, products and trades.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts recaptures the magic of this legendary site by providing artists the opportunity to perform on its multiple stages and guests the occasion to enjoy concerts in an historic and extraordinarily beautiful setting.  

View our Campus Map.
 

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