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Celebrate Woodstock's 40th Anniversary Visiting the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Rear-projected on the windshield of a psychedelic bus a film depicts the many cross-country journeys to Woodstock.
BETHEL WOODS, NY.- Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a $100 million outdoor performing arts center and museum located approximately 90 minutes from New York City at the site of the original 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY. The 15,000 seat outdoor performing arts venue and The Museum at Bethel Woods are set within nearly 2,000 bucolic acres. The Pavilion Stage covers 4,500 seats with another 10,500 on a natural sloping lawn while offering unique backdrops including the original festival site and the majesty of the surrounding Sullivan County countryside. Other venues at the center include a 1,000-seat outdoor Terrace Stage, the Museum Events Gallery – an intimate indoor space for performance, lectures and special events and the original Woodstock concert site, which holds a permit for 30,000 concertgoers to attend major musical events. The 2008 season marked the 10th anniversary of the Harvest Festival, an annual event celebrating the bounty, talent, and beauty of Sullivan County and the surrounding area.

The Museum at Bethel Woods explores the unique experience of the Woodstock festival, its significance as a culminating event of a decade of radical cultural transformation, and the legacies of the Sixties and Woodstock today. Through personal stories and profiles, immersive multi-media exhibit displays and experiences, engaging programs, and educational events, The Museum will encourage inter-generational dialogue about important ideas and issues relevant to today. It will also help preserve the historic site on which the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place. The Museum at Bethel Woods is an impressive facility with over 10,000 square feet of permanent exhibit space, a special exhibit gallery, Event Gallery and museum retail store.

The 6,728 square-foot permanent exhibit gallery includes:

Films: Twenty films are included in The Museum’s permanent exhibit:

The Introduction – A fast-paced film projected on a 12-foot screen that introduces the visitor to the themes and content of the exhibit. The Sixties Timeline – A 3-projector timeline, seamlessly blending the iconic images and sounds of the tumultuous decade.

Sixties Popular Culture – A collection of four short films about life in the Sixties: Fashion & Style, Radio, Television, and Suburbia.

1968: A Year That Shook America – Produced by The History Channel, this 10-minute film about 1968 examines the most significant events of this traumatic year, from the TET Offensive and Vietnam War protests, to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, through the presidential conventions and election and man’s first visit to the Moon.

A Musical Revolution – Narrated by Dennis Elsas, covering the dramatic, creative transformation of rock & roll through the Sixties.

Planning Woodstock – A collection of four short films covering all aspects of the birth of Woodstock: The Idea, The Location, The Performers, and The Movie.

The Bus – Rear-projected on the windshield of an actual school bus – now transformed into a psychedelic bus – the film depicts the many cross-country journeys to Woodstock.

Festival Experiences – A collection of four short films examining various aspects of the Woodstock experience: The Hog Farm Commune, The Security Plan, Stories In the Field, and Local Observers.

The Festival Experience – Projected by 9-video projectors on four screens measuring 62 ft. wide x 50 ft. high and seamlessly blended into a breath-taking 270 degree immersion, this 11-minute surround-sound film places the visitor in the festival crowd. The people, stories, music, sounds, and sights of all three days of Woodstock unfold around the viewer

Woodstock: The Music – Projecting Woodstock footage for the first time ever in 1080p high-definition video and 5.1 surround sound, this 21-minute film captures the best performances of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, many of which have rarely or never been seen before. Projected on a 22 ft. x 13 ft. screen and narrated by actor William Devane, the film tells the story from the viewpoint of rock & roll performers, both veterans of the 1969 concert as well as several younger, contemporary popular artists who speak of the inspiring and emotional performances we see and hear.

Woodstock and the Sixties: What Do They Mean Today? – Famous and not-so-famous, young and not-so-young individuals speak in moving fashion of the continuing impact the Sixties and Woodstock have on their lives.

Interactive Productions:

The Top 40 – Excerpts of the greatest songs of each year from 1960 through 1968 with interpretive narration placing each song in the context of its time.

The Music of 1969 – Sections of popular songs by the performers and bands of 1969 are selected by The Museum visitor and accompanied by narration explaining why that artist did or did not play at the Woodstock festival.

The Map of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair – The Museum visitor can visit more than 20 hot spots of the three days of the Woodstock festival, learning interesting facts about each one: Main Stage, Hog Farm, Campgrounds, Woods, and even where the bathrooms were located!

Personal Stories – Two booths where the visitors themselves can leave a personal story about Woodstock, the Sixties, or their experiences at The Museum at Bethel Woods via audio, video, and/or text.

The Music After Woodstock – Snippets of the greatest songs after Woodstock that have carried forward the legacy and themes of that time. Interpretive narration provides fascinating details about the songs and the artists.

Technology: The Museum at Bethel Woods uses state-of-the-art, centralized AV distribution architecture in which all content is stored in digital form on computer servers in one location and fed by 5,760 ft. of fiber optic and Cat 5 cable to 17 high-definition video projectors and 7 high-definition video monitors, and 15 interactive touchscreen computers throughout the exhibit.

The system uses Watchout and Medialon software. Watchout builds and runs the shows, seamlessly edge blending the many video projectors. Medialon acts as show control, scheduling all productions throughout the museum. SoundWeb provides the distributed, programmable audio network.

Photographs: Approximately 330 photographs are printed on The Museum panels and murals. More than 2,000 music, film, and photographic elements are included in the films and interactive features.

Artifacts:More than 300 objects were collected over several years by The Museum’s curatorial staff. 164 are on display in the permanent exhibit. In addition, some are on loan from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as well as from Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Bethel Woods Art Center for the Arts | Martin Luther King Jr. | Robert Kennedy | Vietnam | Woodstock | Jimi hendrix |


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