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August 2018
Woodstock Festival Grounds
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 to complete the Cultural Landscape Report planning document. 

Now in the design phase, Heritage Landscapes is translating research findings into landscape features that interpret the performance stage, the wood-panel crowd control fence, the massive speaker towers, and the bridged route taken by performers to reach the stage.  Visitors will be able to explore the proposed gestures of remembrance to imagine participating in this moment of national cultural history. 

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


This aerial view shows the distict line created by the crowd control fence and the bridged stage access route for performers.


Heritage Landscapes is exploring through sketches multiple alternatives to interpret the stage area. The option illustrated here features banners to highlight the historic location of the perfomer bridge over the roadway. 


Festival goers filled the space up to the wooden boards fashioning a crowd control fence in this historic photograph.  Speaker tower scaffolds were sometimes climbed by fans eager to see performers over the crowd. 

 

This 1969 view 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.