Relive The Events Of Woodstock 1989 – Heard Of It?
via Rock N' Roll True Stories/YouTube
The Forgotten Woodstock
On August 1989, a rock concert was held on the same venue as Woodstock 1969 to celebrate its 20th anniversary. A few weeks before the event, folk musician Rich Pell asked for permission from the property owners to hold a concert in Bethel. He and a few other people felt like they simply needed to celebrate the iconic festival that happened 20 years ago. There was no official celebration.
Pell had zero expectations, no hope of recreating Woodstock ’69 but he did provided the basics like water trucks, toilet, and staging. He had no idea there were several others who thought to go on a pilgrimage to Bethel just to mark the event. So basically, Woodstock 1989 was mostly spontaneous.
There were over 7,000 in attendance on Wednesday evening but that number ballooned to 30,000 on Friday. Over 150,000 people drove by out of curiosity. Even without social media at the time, word quickly spread.
There were volunteers and people brought equipment and food. It wasn’t as commercialized as the next Woodstock festivals. Dozens of local bands lined up to perform but there was also Melanie (part of the original Woodstock’s lineup) and Savoy Brown. Promoter Michael Lang and Jimi Hendrix’s father Al made appearances too.
Speaking about Woodstock ’89 days after the concert, Melanie said:
“They were there for nothing other than to be there. It was so amazing. The people in the town built a makeshift stage and local bands were playing, and I went down there and I got to sing at Woodstock. So I did it twice in one lifetime!”
Woodstock 1969 is something that can never be recreated. There’s absolutely no way to recapture its magic. And in a way, the Woodstock 1989 was just a fitting tribute to one of the most legendary festivals of all time – just people and their love for music bringing them together.