The much-anticipated Woodstock anniversary concert started on Thursday in the rural farming community of Bethel. Thousands of people have been gathering at either the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts to watch the bands perform on stage, or camped out at the nearby wooded area close to the dairy farm where the original concert was held in 1969.
On Saturday, the groundbreaking guitar rock band Santana headlined the day’s line up of music along with The Doobie Brothers. Both bands had played at the original concert fifty years before.
The annual three-day festival tries to recreate the feel of Woodstock each year but took on greater importance this year for its 50th commemoration of the music festival that became the touchstone for a generation.
One of the most iconic moments of the 1960s counterculture, Woodstock attracted several hundred thousand people who came to see 32 acts, starting with Richie Havens and ending with Jimi Hendrix’s iconic rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Other performers included The Who and The Grateful Dead.
Earlier this year, Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang tried to organize a major concert to commemorate the 50th anniversary that was separate from the routine annual music festival at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. But plans for a grand concert were canceled after organizers had to twice relocate the site and lost its headliners – including Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z and several of the original Woodstock 1969 performers.
(Production: Mana Rabiee)