BETHEL – When the organizers of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair planned their three-day concert, a system of trails through a woodland vending area called the Bindy Bazaar, was to be the entrance way for the 100,000 or so fans they expected over the course of the weekend.
Of course, the order of things was quickly upset as the crowd quickly swelled to a half-million. Still the Bindy Bazaar served the masses well as the place where the festival goers could buy clothing, jewelry, leather goods, posters, and exotic wares and find some peace among the trees.
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts launched an online crowdfunding campaign this month. The not-for-profit cultural center located at the historic site of the Woodstock festival, seeks to restore the wooded area and its trails to their 1969 state as part of an overall effort to preserve the festival site. The fundraising campaign, hosted by the platform Crowdrise, has a goal to raise $25,000 this year. In a crowdfunding campaign, the intent is to have many individuals or groups each give what they can so that – together – several donations add up to the goal.
Due to its sweeping cultural significance, the Woodstock festival site was acknowledged on the National Register of Historic
Places in February 2017. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has worked with specialists to define ways to best preserve and interpret the history of Woodstock and the era that gave rise to the gathering of 500,000 young people seeking peace and understanding against the turbulence of their times.
Darlene Fedun, Chief Executive Officer of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, said, “Woodstock was all about the community that developed on these grounds and so is this fundraiser. This is a true example of how each of us, when united as a community, can make a much greater positive impact together – combined each donation, regardless of size, will contribute to the preservation of this important historic site.”
Donations starting at $10 may be given through the easy-to-use system found at crowdrise.com/preservingwoodstock.
The Bindy Bazaar woods are located across Hurd Road from the festival field. These restored footpaths will offer visitors the opportunity to explore what was once an important crossroads of the Woodstock festival, enhancing the site experience. The colorful sign that marked the entrance to the woods during the festival will be reproduced, as will the famous, hand-painted directional signs that proclaimed the “High Way,” “Groovy Way,” and “Gentle Path” in the woods.
“As we seek to make the visitor experience to the Woodstock site the best it can be, projects like the Bindy Bazaar trail restoration will offer new insights into what took place here in 1969,” Fedun continued. Other funders of the initial preservation projects are the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and several individual donors.
Future projects will further enhance the historic site, drawing tourists from across the country and around the world. These plans include restoring the landscape contours where the Woodstock stage stood and marking the footprints of the stage and other key structures on the field, as well as developing an interactive self-guided tour of the grounds.
To learn more about these projects and helping to preserve the site please visit bethelwoodscenter.org/the-museum/clr.