By the time we got to Woodstock…
There’s a really cool museum in upstate New York with a really bland name — the Museum at Bethel Woods. I would definitely have called it the Woodstock Museum, because that’s basically what it is: a history and reflection of the Woodstock festival and the U.S. during the decade of the sixties.
The museum is part of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a $100 million outdoor performing arts center located 90 minutes from New York City at the site of the original 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY. To tell the truth, it’s in the middle of nowhere. But it’s such a thrill to drive on the same road that all those concert-goers drove on back in 1969…and got stuck in traffic and abandoned their cars. To see the acreage where that historic event took place is pretty cool.
Inside the museum, you can settle into a bean-bag chair and watch a surround-video multimedia presentation that takes you right into the crowd and makes you feel as if you actually attended Woodstock (and then struggle to get out of said bean-bag chair, because you’re not a teenager anymore). There’s a theatre where you can watch a 20-minute film featuring performers including Joe Cocker, Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, and all the rest. You can watch a video inside a hippie-fied VW bus. And there are lots more photos and videos and artifacts about the 1960s, the planning of the Woodstock festival, the weather during the festival, all the people who chipped in and fed 400,000 fans, the journey to Woodstock, and lots more.
In the photo: My daughter Lauren fits right in with her tie-dye skirt!