Woodstock Historic Site

Discover the many ways you can experience the past in the present at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

aerial view of Woodstock festival traffic

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As stewards of the historic site, Bethel Woods continues to discover, develop, and preserve the integrity of these sacred grounds

 

Cultural Landscape Report

In 2014, The Museum at Bethel Woods commissioned a Cultural Landscape Report to serve as a guide for stewardship and interpretation of the Woodstock festival historic site. Historic landscape architecture firm Heritage Landscapes, LLC performed studies of the site to create the report, which summarizes the history, current conditions, and recommended treatments of the historic property. Following the report, Bethel Woods is working to preserve a landmark of popular culture and bringing the place to life as an exciting destination for visitors to explore.

View the Cultural Landscape Report

cultural landscape report at bethel woods

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.


National Register

In 2017 the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places, a formal acknowledgment of the significance of the site’s heritage. Members of the National Register benefit from protections and grant opportunities for preservation as well as historic recognition, joining the ranks of national treasures such as the Empire State Building, the Grand Canyon, and the Statue of Liberty. Historic sites like this one bring people together and give meaning to our shared experiences.

Archaeology Preserves Woodstock Festival Site

When you think about archaeological digs, your mind might slip to the sand-covered landscapes of Egypt, or the ancient sites of long-dead civilizations. However, archaeology 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 archaeologists 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, archaeologists 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.

Bindy Bazaaar Reborn

The Bindy Bazaar woods is located across Hurd Road from the festival field. Restored pathways offer visitors the opportunity to explore what was once an important vending area and crossroads of the Woodstock Festival. The famous, hand-painted directional signs marking trails as “High Way,” “Groovy Way,” and “Gentle Path” have been reproduced and hang in the woods. The first leg of the Bindy Bazaar Trails opened in summer 2019 to visitors, and will continue to expand as preservation efforts progress.

Woodstock festival monument at the historic site
Woodstock message tree

Woodstock Message Tree

couple standing in front of the Woodstock monument

Meet Me at Woodstock

Bethel Woods is bringing new experiences to guests using augmented reality. Soon, guests of The Museum will be able to listen to legendary Woodstock artists from Slick to Santana, hear helicopters take off and land, “see” the stage as it was in 1969, and so much more, featuring numerous AR experiences across more than 15 acres of iconic landscape. The augmented reality tour is developed in partnership with Antenna International and Earprint Immersive and funded in large part by American Express and Empire State Development. Learn more about Meet Me at Woodstock here.

The Future of Preservation

Plans for future projects include restoring the landscape contours of the field where the Woodstock stage stood and marking the footprints of the stage and other key structures on the field. Expansion of the Bindy Bazaar trails is also in the works. The addition of interpretive signage to the site will enhance the visitor experience and provide key facts about Woodstock and its place in the landscape.

 

Would you like to learn how to support preservation efforts at Bethel Woods? Click here to learn how!