Monday, September 15, 2014

Woodstock - Bethel Woods Center of the Arts

We heard about the Bethel Woods Center of the Arts from Jean, the other workamper at Interlake who had to leave early because of problems at home.  She said it was really a fun place to visit with lots of pictures, videos and music.  We didn't go to Woodstock but then everyone heard about it!  I was working full time for lawyers in the small town of Monticello, Iowa and taking care of my two little ones.   In 1969 Sandi would have been 4 and Lori would have been 1 1/2.  Lee was attending Drexel College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he and his friends actually thought about going but didn't at the last moment.  

It was a pretty drive to Bethel Woods some of the leaves are starting to change here although I think we will have left this area way before the peak.  Hopefully, they will peak in Maine when we are there.

Map of the Bethel Woods Center of the Arts

The tickets for this concert were sold in some stores and via mail order.  They sold for $7 for one day, $13 for two days and $18 for three days.  Wouldn't you love to buy concert tickets for those prices.   The tickets were on sale for a concert in the town of Wallkill but the  citizens of Wallkill did not want a bunch of drugged-out hippies descending on their town. After much wrangling, the town of Wallkill passed a law on July 2, 1969 that effectively banned the concert from their vicinity.

The stores selling the tickets stopped selling them for a period of time but then Max Yasgur offered up his 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York to be the location for the Woodstock Festival and ticket sales resumed.
Entering the Gates to Bethel Woods

The last minute change of venue seriously set back the Festival timeline. They had to get new contracts drawn up, construct the stage and a performer's pavilion, get parking lots and concession stands built and so when the concert was about to start, some things weren't finished yet like the ticket booths and gates.

It is a huge facility

The promoters of the concert had the goal of bringing in 50,000 people but they never imagined what would occur.  Two days before the concert there were 50,000 people already camped at the farm.  They had just walked in through the gaps in the fence and there was no way to get them to leave without trouble so all of a sudden the concert became a free concert and the only money that the promoters got for the event was from the pre-ticket sales.

Once the word was out that Woodstock was a free festival an estimated 1,000,000 people headed for Woodstock.  The police had to start turning people away and it it estimated that 400-500,000 people actually attended the concert.

Can you imagine the chaos and trying to feed all of these people and take care of their bodily needs.  It sounds like a complete nightmare to me!

Loved these signs that were in the Museum

A copy of the poster for the event

A copy of one of the tickets for the event

Cafeteria in the Building

We were planning on eating lunch in the cafeteria but by the time we got in the building and started looking around we came back and it was closed.  So, we had to starve until we left.  

Looking at the doors to the Exhibits

I had never seen one of these flags before

There were posters, videos, exhibits on the history of the era everywhere you looked.

We stood at one station for over 15 minutes listening to the top 10 songs of the 60's decade.  It brought back a lot of fond memories.

There were tons of pictures of people at the festival.

This piano was actually used at the concert by Sha Na Na.

Some of the fashions of the 60's. 

I like this one although I have to admit I 
never saw anyone around town dressed
                               like this - only on television!

Isn't this one sexy outfit! 

Love the Flower Power Bus

The bus was actually an exhibit.  There was a video going on inside about the festival.  What is on the screen is the traffic jam on the roads going into the festival.

I'm standing on the outside of the bus.  

I wore the shirt I bought at the Groovy Blueberry when we went to the New Paltz Chalk Festival.  I bought the shirt for a Hippie Party that we're planning for Winter Ranch this winter but I thought what better place to wear it!

The inside of the bus was really interesting too with
 beaded curtains and tie-dyed fabric

Looking at the back of the bus

Another picture of the bus

How about a flower power VW?

Exhibit Sign showing some of the concert 
goers and explaining how the concert became free

After walking and taking in all kinds of exhibits, we came to round theater that showed another film about the concert.  I took several pictures of the screen as it changed views.  A few came out.

Concert goers climbing a sound tower 
to get a better look at the stage

Jimi Hendrix put on quite a performance at the concert.  We actually got to watch it when we got to the auditorium where they showed several of the performances from the concert.  It was worth it just to see them in action and on a huge screen.

Then, of course, we had to visit the gift shop but I have to tell you this is not the place to buy anything.  Everything was extremely over priced!

This photograph gives an idea of just how crowded it was.  I don't know how you could do anything with a crowd like this!  It was a good thing they were peaceful souls!

By the time we left the Museum we were really hungry but we had to see the Woodstock Festival Monument which is on the grounds of the concert before we left.

The Monument sits across the fence from where the concert was held.  It is a pretty landscape.

Another look at the Bethel Woods Center of the Arts

There is another side to this museum that is dedicated to human rights.  It is very informative and really apropos to what is happening today with ISIS.  It was also very depressing to say the least.  Once you see the wall covered with pictures of human rights defenders and what their lives are like, it is hard to forget.  The stories are absolutely horrific and I can't imagine living where they do and dealing with what happens on a daily basis. 

On every wall are many human rights defenders from many nations and their stories.  They are hard to read and it is hard to absorb that so much violence and inhuman treatment is a way of life for so many people.  We are so fortunate to live where we do although atrocities still occur and we have to be ever vigilant to respect the rights of others as far as religious, cultural, ethic, sexual orientation and mental capacity are concerned.  If we aren't vigilant about our freedoms here, then we too could be at risk.

I decided just to show one of the many many stories because frankly it is just so overwhelming.

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