Woodstock Remembered – The 50th Anniversary

Dennis Elsas with Richie Havens, John Sebastian and Vernon Reid

Woodstock didn’t happen in the town of Woodstock, NY. The three-day festival that defined a generation actually took place fifty miles away in Bethel, NY. The actual site is still there and remains just as it was with rolling hills that form a natural amphitheater like setting. Nothing blocks your view and there is a small commemorative plaque that was put up in 1984 that lists most of the performer’s names. (Interesting that the spelling of John Sebastian’s name as “Sabastian” has never been corrected.)

Next door is the beautiful Bethel Center for the Arts which includes The Pavillion, an outdoor concert venue that seats over 5,000 people and The Museum at Bethel Woods, that tells the story of the 60’s and Woodstock. I’m very proud to be featured as “The Voice of Rock History” throughout the Museum. Stunning visual displays, films and interactive exhibits allow you to experience what it must have been like to be at the Festival and explore the legacy of the 60’s.

The proposed location for the concert was changed three times (Woodstock to Walkill to Bethel) and the concert’s promoters were forced to make the decision to move the Festival just weeks before the scheduled dates. They turned to FM radio to spread the word. In this clip, legendary WNEW-FM personalities Scott Muni and Rosko give their listeners all the details, newsman Mike Eisgrau reports from the scene as the extraordinary events unfold in August 1969, and nearly forty years later (May 2008) Richie Havens and John Sebastian told me how they became a part of rock n’ roll history.