A promoter of the original 1969 Woodstock concert is planning a 50th anniversary festival.
Michael Lang says Wednesday that “Woodstock 50” is planned Aug. 16-18 in Watkins Glen, New York, about 115 miles northwest of the original site.
A slate of yet-to-be announced bands will perform on three main stages at Watkins Glen International racetrack in the Finger Lakes. Lang says the festival will feature contemporary rock, hip hop, pop and country performers, along with “legacy acts.”
The original concert was held on a farm in Bethel, New York that is now run as an attraction by The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. The venue plans its own anniversary event Aug. 16-18.
The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair held Aug. 15-17, 1969 drew more than 400,000 people.
Meanwhile the Watkins Glen International racetrack is no stranger to music festivals. The Summer Jam was held at Watkins Glen in 1973 and once received the Guinness Book of World Records entry for “Largest audience at a pop festival.” An estimated 600,000 rock fans came to the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Raceway outside Watkins Glen on July 28, 1973, to see the Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead and The Band perform.
Many historians claimed that the Watkins Glen event was the largest gathering of people in the history of the United States. In essence, that meant that on July 28, one out of every 350 people living in America at the time was listening to the sounds of rock at the New York state racetrack. Considering that most of those who attended the event hailed from the Northeast, and that the average age of those present was approximately seventeen to twenty-four, close to one out of every three young people from Boston to New York was at the festival.
So which ever celebration of the 50th anniversary you prefer, the weekend August 16-18th will be rocking in Upstate NY.
Peace, Love And Keep Rockin’ – Tejay