Bethel festival straight out of Woodstock era

July 26, 1994|By Neil Strauss | Neil Strauss,New York Times News Service

Bethel '94, the second of two festivals in upstate New York commemorating the 25th anniversary of Woodstock, has finally announced its lineup, and not one solo artist or original group member performing is under 45.

Fourteen acts, nine from the 1969 Woodstock festival, have been scheduled for Bethel '94, to be held on the site of the original Woodstock festival on Aug. 13 and 14 at the farm of Max Yasgur in Sullivan County, near Monticello.

The Woodstock veterans are Richie Havens, Country Joe McDonald, Melanie, John Sebastian, Mountain, Canned Heat, Iron Butterfly, Sha Na Na and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Also on the bill are Fleetwood Mac, Judy Collins, the Chambers Brothers, Tom Paxton and Leon Russell.

Tickets, which went on sale yesterday, are available from Ticketmaster for the commemorative figure of $94.69 plus service charges. The price includes parking and camping fees. Festivalgoers are asked to take four items of clothing and nonperishable food as donations.

The site's capacity is 50,000, significantly less than the 250,000 capacity at Woodstock '94, to be held the same weekend in Saugerties, N.Y. Tickets for Woodstock '94 are still available at $540 for sets of four.

Concert-industry pundits had predicted slim chances of success for the festival when, less than a month away from Woodstock's anniversary weekend of Aug. 13, it still had not received full approval from the town of Bethel. The approval came July 16.

Harry Rhulen, a promoter of Bethel '94, said he had had trouble making bookings because of the late approval. He said that the festival had just added a second stage.

"We're trying to focus on a lineup that is in keeping with the original Woodstock," he said. "We're not trying to re-create '69 so much as pay tribute to it."

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