Remembering Woodstock on the Ridge

For a certain generation in America, many things changed 46 years ago this month. In their music, and thus in their life.

The Woodstock Music & Art Fair took root on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, N.Y., Aug. 14 to 18, 1969. Hundreds of thousands of young music fans descended upon the land. The New York State Thruway was closed. They danced in the mud, took of their clothes and chanted and sang. News crews documented it all. Peace and love and a movie and soundtrack were to come. Jimi Hendrix. Crosby, Stills and Nash. Richie Havens. Woodstock II and III.

Coming Sunday.

Coming Sunday.

Syracuse musician and all-around good man Edgar Pagan sent me a note of a fest to mark the event this Sunday, taking full advantage of the many talents of Central New York’s artists that have grown from that history south and east down the thruway.

His release reads:

On Sunday, August 30, CNY music history will be made at the Ridge Golf Club in Chittenango, as 61 area musicians grace the stage in a celebration of the music from the original Woodstock. During this one-day mini re-creation of the historical three-day festival, local performers will share their talents in a day-long tribute to the beloved artists that performed 46 years ago at Yasgurโ€™s farm in Bethel, NY.

Join us for this incredible event that highlights the talents of our multi-faceted local music community in a beautiful rural setting with a festival feel like no other in this region.

Featured musicians include:

Grupo Pagan, The Hoffmann Family Band, The Barn Dogs, Syracuse Women in Music, Carolyn Kelly, The Bog Brothers, Castle Creek, Joe Whiting, Dave Hanlon, Steve Winston, Dugan Henhawk, Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, Wendy Ramsay, Melissa Gardiner, August Cook, Nick Fields, Brian Golden, Donna Colton, Charley Orlando, Butternut Creek Revival, Pearly Bakerโ€™s Best, Ron Spencer, Bernie Clarke, Jess Novak, Steve Winston, Ashley Cox, Lisa Romano, George Newton, Sharon Allen, Joanna Nix Jewett, Todd Fitzsimmons, Mark Nanni, Miss E., Jamie Notarthomas, Liz Friedel, Susan Royal, Skip Murphy, Laura Schilling, and Jo Anne Bakeman!

Tickets are $25 or 5 for $100 and include all day access to the event, one beverage of your choice, AND an unforgettable musical experience!

Great festival-themed food, drink specials, plus a raffle for a framed original Woodstock poster and ticket are all part of the fun!

Tickets may be purchased from The Ridge at 1281 Salt Springs Road, Chittenango or online through Eventbrite. For further information, contact Jordan Davies at (315) 687-6900.

And as always, Edgar ended his email with his familiar salutation: Peace and God Bless.


Here’s a video I shot of Grupo Pagan performing at this year’s Syracuse Area Music Awards show.

I was fortunate enough to cover the second two editions of Woodstock for the Syracuse daily, and the music and feeling of community at the second, in a big field in Saugerties, N.Y., 25 years after the original was remarkable. At the third, five years later at the former Rome Air Force Base, the music again was large, but the vibe had gotten more forced and took a bad turn. Weather was intolerably hot, much of the fest was set on runway concrete but the music fields had gone to dead hay. Water costs were set too high. A group passed out candles on the final day, and crowds set a fire.

Do you recall hearing and seeing accounts from the Woodstock fest 46 years ago, and if so, did it make an impressiion on you then? What have been your impressions about Woodstock over the years? Who is your favorite Woodstock performer, and why?

47 thoughts on “Remembering Woodstock on the Ridge

  1. Oh, you poor children. Recall hearing about it? If I could have found a babysitter I would have been there. I’m older than most of the dirt at Woodstock II and III bro Mark., both of which were gigantic flops if their purpose was to recreate the mood of the original. As for a favorite? How do I choose only one from all of the best in the world? They had TV coverage, and specials after is was over, showing the events — not as good as being there, but at least letting us see more than anyone expected. Right now, I’m singing inside “All we are saying is give peace a chance”. hands joined all around, and everyone participating.
    Was your fest today a good one? My wish would be for every area of the world to stage another Woodstock, and another movement for PEACE. I know I’m dreaming, but let the mothers of the world run it for a month and see if that would change anything. Or better still, let the leaders who want war, be the ones who do the fighting. Let’s just see how much they want to fight if they are the ones doing the actual fighting. Like most bullies, they have to have a gang behind them to do it for them, while they stand aside and watch, guarded by a private army. Cowards who talk the talk but are afraid to walk the walk.

    Getting off my soapbox now.


  2. i remember it well, from a young person’s perspective. if i had been older, i feel like i would have been there, somehow and would have loved the experience. it seems like something that can never be recreated, and as you know firsthand, the results of that were mixed. i loved most of the music at the original, as seen on old news footage and the doc.


  3. I remember my older siblings and friends talking about Woodstock when I was a kid. And, of course, I’ve seen the movie of it several times. The bohemian in me would have loved to have been there, if I had been an adult then. (One of my nicknames a friend gave me is “Moonbeam” because I had a hippie-vibe as a teenager in the mid-to late-70’s!)

    Favorite Woodstock performer(s)…too many to name…but, it would have been history to have heard Janis and Jimi, because they were so amazing and died so young. Also, would love to have heard The Who, CCR, CSNandY, Joe Cocker, ETC! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ridgestock looks cool and rad and far-out and groovy!!! What a fun fun FUN event that will be! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Peace-Dude-HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Wow, I can’t even begin. Of course, Woodstock and the whole 60s revolution has been a large influence on me and I wasn’t even there. How great that they are commemorating it. My favorite Woodstock performer may be The Who, but, you know, ask me on another day…


  5. Unfortunately have no memories of the Woodstocks, except for the ill-fated third one. It’s always interesting when I realize that the era that people refer to as “The 60’s” was so close to the end of the decade,


  6. This was my parents era they speak about it often because I love the oldies. They have an original reel to reel of the recordings of that Festival-Woodstock’69. Crazy-Peace-Love-Wacky tobacky-love-sex-mud-no food-where’d they go to the bathroom in Bethel, NY??? Favorites Hendrix, oh the list is long…The Gatorette!


  7. I would have loved to have seen all the bands, especially Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills and Nash, oh and Santana and CCR. Don’t think I would have fared well at Woodstock with the craziness and the mud. I was just a little Australian kid at the time, don’t think I really heard about Woodstock until I was much older. I don’t think I have ever been to a music festival, lots of concerts, but no music festivals. What the heck have I been doing all my life? No baseball games, no music festivals.


  8. As a young teenager at that time…..I was awestruck with Woodstock as it became such a huge symbol for the time. Fast forward to present day where a few months ago we found out that a close friend and neighbor was at Woodstock and has shared his experiences with us. He grew up in that area and all of his friends were going so he just tagged along. Glad they are trying to keep a tradition of a music festival!!


  9. I feel like I watched a very long program on Woodstock, maybe even different long programs. I missed it, of course, but I like places with vibes like that, people are so friendly and warm. (And I enjoy dressing down, lol!) If all the music at Woodstock wasn’t good, then I don’t know good music.


  10. What a great idea to recreate the event with local bands ! The original was the best, and was really never repeated. I was broke, working that summer for college funds, did not attend with friends. No regrets.
    Favorites for me were Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, and a little-known Melanie. โ˜บ


  11. I was 13 and remember the National newscasts covering this anazing event, Mark. Of course, i have seen the documentary about Woodstock! I was so excited and wishing I were older, Mark!
    The closest thing I have gone to were musical festivals like Columbus “Comfest,” where women and men walk around topless and jump into a muddy lake splashing each other. There are four stages and Felicia’s friend, Morgan Trent sang one year on the blues and jazz stage and the next on the Solar stage.
    Of course, I pay even more attention now that my son’s baby Hendrix was born 3 weeks ago Monday. ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. They ran a 6-hour-documentary on TV, must have been in the early eighties… I was impressed. Lots of fab music, stories and statistics. I would not mind a rerun… ๐Ÿ˜€


  13. Too many to choose! I was 21 when I became aware of the music of Woodstock and very into Joplin and Baez. Now CCR and Santana would stand out for sure.


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