Revisit the Historic Site of the Woodstock Festival

The site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival located at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is on the New York State and National Register of Historic Places, formally acknowledging the significance of the site’s heritage.

Woodstock Music & Arts Festival 1969

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National Register

The National Register is a program of the National Park Service and U.S. Department of the Interior that recognizes the significance of buildings, structures, and sites throughout the country. While the National Register offers protections, benefits, and grant opportunities for the center, the primary benefit is the recognition it brings to this historic location.

A commemorative plaque is located at the crest of the hill overlooking the field where the Woodstock Festival took place, offering a tangible place for people to relive a moment, learn the lessons of the past, and contemplate how to use those lessons to make the world a better place today.

Ongoing Preservation Efforts

In 2014, The Museum at Bethel Woods commissioned a Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) to serve as a guide to the proper stewardship and interpretation of the Woodstock Festival Historic Site. The report, created by the historic landscape architecture firm of Heritage Landscapes LLC and completed in 2015, summarizes the history, current conditions, and recommended treatments of the historic property. As stated in the CLR, “the recommendations aim to increase access and legibility of the stories embedded in the landscape.” By enhancing the authenticity of the site, Bethel Woods is simultaneously preserving a significant landmark of 20th-century popular culture AND creating a destination attraction for national and international tourism, benefiting the nonprofit mission and boosting the regional economy.

Funding for the CLR was made possible in part by grants from Jeff Bank Foundation; National Trust for Historic Preservation; The A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation; and Preservation League of New York State; and generous support from Jeffrey Allison and James Lomax, Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Boyd, Mr. and Mrs. Ric Coombe, Donald F. Dembert, Robyn Gerry and children, the Grillo Family, the Fishman Family and Majestic Drug Company, Steve and Sue Marton, and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Schor.

Bindy Bazaar Reborn

The centerpiece of the preservation project is the restoration of several of the footpaths that crisscrossed the Bindy Bazaar woods across Hurd Road from the festival field. These restored paths will offer visitors the opportunity to explore what was once an important vending area and crossroads of the Woodstock Festival. The colorful sign that marked the entrance to the woods during the festival will be reproduced, as will the famous, hand-painted directional signs that proclaimed the “High Way,” “Groovy Way,” and “Gentle Path” in the woods.

Plans for future projects include restoring the landscape contours where the Woodstock stage stood and marking the footprints of the stage and other key structures on the field, as well as developing an interactive self-guided tour of the grounds.