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.
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 Yasgur’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 Baker’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?