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The Historic 1969 Woodstock Festival Site Is Opening to Campers for the First Time — What to Know

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will host camping experiences on concert days.

<p>Courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts</p>

Courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

There was an undeniable serenity to the verdant hills that rolled out ahead of me, as they greeted the marshmallow-puffy white clouds in the most pungent of blue skies. Despite the calm that swept over me while I stood in the street corner in Bethel, New York, last summer, I could feel the reverberation in the ground — one that rewound back more than five decades. In fact, this was the very site where nearly 400,0000 people filled the hills for three day of peace, love, and understanding in what has become known as one of the most iconic events in pop culture history, the Woodstock festival.

Located about two and half hours northwest of New York City in upstate New York, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts — not to be confused with the town of Woodstock, which is about a 90 minute drive away — sits on the site of the 1969 festival, where young folks from all over America gathered in synchronicity during a time of a divided nation. While the music of headline names like Joan Baez, Grateful Dead, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sha Na Na, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, drew them there, what it turned into was so much more — a cultural revolution that has yet to be repeated.

<p>Courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts</p>

Courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Since 2006, the 800-acre site’s Pavilion Stage ampitheatre has continued to welcome major artists, with the upcoming 2024 summer season’s lineup including Hootie & the Blowfish, Alanis Morisette, Jason Mraz, Train, REO Speedwagon, Limp Bizkit, Hozier, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and Melissa Etheridge, among others.

For the first time this year, concertgoers can add on a camping experience on show and festival dates, with a range of experience types, from basic to glamping.

Those who prefer more comforts can opt for in-venue glamping, with three levels of luxury tents. With full electricity and wifi, they each have bedding and furniture, a full bathroom with shower, as well as an outdoor deck seating. Located just about a five-minute walk to both the pavilion stage and Museum at Bethel Woods, each tent also has a sprawling view of the entire campus.

Just a tier down is a basic glamping facility in a furnished bell tent with bedding and an electrical strip, and shared restrooms and shower facilities.

<p>Courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts</p>

Courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

For more rugged campers, the tent-only campgrounds near the amphitheater provide a simple grass site. Guests can bring their own tents, and enjoy shared access to portable toilets, hand-washing stations, and showers.

Also available are RV and car camping facilities, just about a half mile down the road. The Premier RV package has a gravel pad with 50-amp electric hookup, water, and sewer pump access, while the Primitive RV package has parking on a grass site, where pump out and water delivery are available for a fee. Standard car camping sites are also offered, and all have access to nearby restrooms and showers facilities too.

“Given the unique legacy of the property, and the expansive 1,800 acres surrounding the Center’s historic footprint, we’re thrilled to be one of the first venues in the country to offer an outdoor getaway that blends our rich history and picturesque scenery with live music — further elevating the experience here,” Eric Frances, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts’ CEO, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. “With this new offering, luxury travelers and outdoor enthusiasts alike now have an opportunity to engross themselves in both nature and music against the beautiful backdrop of the Sullivan Catskills.”

To relive the magic of Woodstock, add on a camping adventure to your Bethel Woods concert ticket by visiting BethelWoodsCenter.org

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