Ongoing projects include:
Archeology Preserves Woodstock Festival Site
When you think about archeological digs, your mind might slip to the sand-covered landscapes of Egypt, or the ancient sites of long-dead civilizations. However, archeology can interpret and uncover the more recent past, as is the case at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.
In 2018, a team of archeologists from the Public Archaeology Facility at Binghamton University led a series of micro-excavations to establish the location of the stage, sound, and light towers from the festival. Using computer-assisted design maps, archeologists sought out soil disturbances, discolorations and other evidence to pinpoint the outline of key festival landmarks, including the main stage, performers’ footbridge and the towers.
Today, guests to the museum can explore these landmarks with one of our docent-led tours of the historic grounds. Sign up when you visit The Museum at Bethel Woods.
Bethel Woods is bringing new content experiences to guests using augmented reality. Soon, guests of The Museum will be able to listen to Jimi Hendrix perform the Star Spangled Banner, hear helicopters take off and land, and peek inside the medical and kitchen tents as they were during the festival. The augmented reality tour, developed in partnership with Antenna International and Earprint Immersive and funded in large part by American Express, will feature numerous AR dimensions across over 60 acres of iconic landscape at Bethel Woods, the site of the original Woodstock festival.
From augmented reality to actual reality, Bethel Woods painstakingly recreated the Bindy Bazaar Trails, a marketplace and trail system that acted as the heart of the Woodstock festival in 1969. Vendors sold crafts and clothing at booths along the trails that connected the two major areas of the festival grounds. In honor of the thoroughfare’s importance to the original festival, Bethel Woods committed to redeveloping the trails within the Bindy Bazaar woods for guests to explore the area.
To celebrate this aspect of festival history and bring to life the art, craft, and sense of joy embodied by the Bindy Bazaar and the Festival itself, Bethel Woods presents a large-scale public art installation located in the historical footprint of the Bindy Bazaar Trails. Artist Carol Hummel's work will highlight the use of textile and color celebrated in the era through an expression and technique representative of today.
Carol Hummel will stitch together colorful crocheted shapes that organically wrap, hug, and embrace the trunks and branches of trees along the walking path in Bindy Woods, creating an ever-changing environment vibrating with color, light, shape and form.. The project will emphasize the use of textile and color celebrated in the era, juxtaposed with a technique unique and representative of contemporary times.
Future preservation plans include restoring the Woodstock stage area, and creating a scenic interpretive outlook at the top of the festival field.