Bethel Woods Celebrates 13th Year In Operation
Bethel Woods first opened their gates to concertgoers with a July 4th, 2006 show featuring the New York Philharmonic. Not only are they celebrating their 13th year in operation, but the landmark 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock Festival which was held on the grounds.
They've pulled out all the stops in 2019 with shows from high profile artists like The Dave Matthews Band, Adam Sandler, Chris Stapleton and the successful return of camping to the property with Mountain Jam.
We have Mr. Alan Gerry to thank for the construction of Bethel Woods. A Sullivan County resident and local philanthropist, he started the non-profit Gerry Foundation in 1996 as a means to improve the quality of life in the area. He founded Cablevision in the 1970s and used the proceeds of the sale of the company to follow through on this vision. He purchased the 37-acre field along with hundreds of surrounding acres with the idea of creating a world-class performance venue. Construction on the $150 million facilities began in 2004 and was open to the public two years later.
There's still plenty of time to get out and enjoy a show this summer. Shinedown is there Friday and the WRRV Summer Concert is on August 30th featuring Bush, Live and Our Lady Peace. The 50th-anniversary celebration in August can't be missed and be sure to make time to visit the museum while you're there.
Having been to the venue during the first week in operation, it's pretty amazing to look back on all the amazing concert experiences and see how far they've come. I skipped the Ashlee Simpson show back in '06 and opted for Phil Lesh & Friends with Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, and the Benevento Russo Duo. Phil just recently returned for a set at Mountain Jam and that train is still rolling on.