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September 2014
Woodstock Festival Grounds Cultural Landscape Report History
Bethel, New York

The 1969 Woodstock festival holds a special place in American history.  The pivotal cultural and musical event enshrined the values of the counterculture and youth movement as a major force in the national social fabric as societal trends shifted toward global obligations of peace, environmental responsibility, and respect for all.  Heritage Landscapes separated fact from fiction about the festival grounds through investigative fieldwork and research at the archives at the Museum at Bethel Woods including thousands of photographs, interviews, festival reports, and rare planning drawings and documents.  For this cultural landscape report, research findings were aligned to four societal themes.

  • Youth counterculture expressed in life-style, music, dress, food, sexual mores, drug use, etc.
  • “The Establishment” and opposing anti-establishment, Cold War, Vietnam War, and related demonstrations for peace
  • Civil rights and voting rights struggle of African Americans and supporters for freedom
  • Environmental movement, chemical degradation, ecological sciences, and Earth Day

The documentation-based recommendations of this report will strengthen interpretation and guide the preservation of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair landscape for future generations.

The 1969 views from the Woodstock stage shows the immense crowd gathered at the cultural event.

Heritage Landscapes developed the 1969 plan of the festival landscape illustrating the location of the items such as the stage, circulation paths, and camping.

During the festival, vendors erected booths to sell and trade merchandise in the Bindy Bazaar woods.