Since breaking ground in 2004, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has been a beacon of hope, promise, joy, and optimism for our region. By joining together for inspiring performances with family, friends, and live music fans alike, we remind the world how powerful shared human experiences can make lasting memories. Last year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival – echoing the profound transformative impact that togetherness can bestow on an entire generation.
Our concerts have been enjoyed against a backdrop of the invigorating summer sun and the bright moon and stars on a clear night. At other times, we endured torrential rain, lightning, and squalls of wind. And here we are, in 2020, facing what feels like the most challenging storms of our lifetime.
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that the Pavilion stage will not be opening this summer. We have worked tirelessly to navigate governmental restrictions and the pandemic’s impact on the concert industry, resulting in many artists canceling their tours. I know this is disappointing news to all our loyal donors, members, sponsors, and guests who have shared 14 summers of concerts with their friends and families. We cannot, however, safely and in good faith provide our guests with the quality experience that has become the standard of Bethel Woods.
Many concert dates will be moved to 2021 and we will look to provide alternative programming throughout this year utilizing our amazing venue in a responsible manner. The Event Gallery, Museum and its exhibits, along with our new outdoor augmented reality tour, will open as soon as it is safe to do so. While this is not the outcome any of us desired, we assure you that we will weather this storm and connect with you in other ways until we can be together again.
As perfectly captured in the words of musician Dave Grohl, “I don’t know when it will be safe to sing arm in arm at the top of our lungs. But we will do it again, because we have to.”
As you can imagine, the pandemic has impacted our ability to open our venue and offer programming that would normally offset the costs to operate the center. We rely on the generosity of individuals like you. Any donation of tickets, memberships and season lawn passes will be matched by a generous member of the Board of Trustees.
Woodstock proved to the world that there is strength in unifying for peace. Back in 1969, a Woodstock attendee spray-painted the words “WE ARE ONE” on the plywood fence in front of the main stage. Fifty years later, now more than ever, we are reminded that together we are one.