Bethel, NY, is located about 25 miles from my summer neck of the woods. It may not be a familiar name to those outside the New York area, but once I say it is the town most famous for the Woodstock Festival of the Sixties, you reply, "Ah, yessss". Today it is known as Bethel Woods.
An article from the June 1, 2006 issue of the River Reporter, Narrowsburg, NY, gives the following facts about the new Bethel Woods:
*The original Woodstock field will be a "festival" field that can hold up to 30,000 concertgoers. Pavilions and buildings in stone, wood, and copper have been planned and the performing arts facility, which will house 4800 seats will feature top rated performers and orchestras.
*A parking facility will be available for 10,000 vehicles.
*Next year an outdoor amphitheater,a museum, and an interpretive center will be opened.
*For comfort of the artists a private back-stage outdoor patio will be available. Room for three tractor-trailers will be available at the rear of the stage.
A native of nearby Liberty, NY, Alan Gerry purchased the original Woodstock site and 1700 acres with the plan to transform the site for top-rated performances. The cost of the project is $70 million.
July 1 opened with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Other July performers include Ashlee Simpson and the Veronicas, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Brad Paisley.
July 22-23 will be Jazz Fest Weekend featuring George Benson, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, and John Pizzarelli, among others.
In August Crosby, Stills, and Nash and the Boston Pops will entertain.
How lucky can a Mississippian get, with such outstanding performances available just down the road? That beautiful field mussed up by hippies of Woodstock fame will now be available for those bringing their own lawn chairs and paying a wee bit less for tickets. This area will attract many people from neighboring states.