2 Competing Celebrations Of Woodstock This Summer But The Who Will Not Be Participating

January 4, 2019

Photo Credit: Kristoffer Tripplaar/ Sipa USA


Roger Daltrey is adamant that the Who will not be on the bill for this summer's 50th anniversary concerts celebrating Woodstock. So far, there are dueling events in the planning, with original organizer Michael Lang set to roll out the plans for the official Woodstock Ventures LC celebration in the coming weeks. On August 16th, 17th, and 18th, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Sullivan County, New York will host Live Nation's "Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival," which is being described as a "pan-generational music, culture, and community event” complete with food, live music, "TED-style talks," along with a museum at the center chronicling the history of the original 1969 festival.

Michael Lang was quoted by BrooklynVegan.com as saying, "While the original site in Bethel remains close to our hearts, it no longer has the capacity to hold a real Woodstock Festival. I’m delighted that Bethel Woods is doing events in the coming year to celebrate what we brought to life in 1969."

As far as Roger Daltrey is concerned, come August, fans shouldn't be looking for the Who at either of the 50th anniversary events: "I haven't heard anything, no. August in America is too hot for me to work in anymore. Since my Meningitis, my (body) thermostat's gone up a creep and I can't work in extreme heat anymore. I mean, you can't re-do Woodstock, because the star of Woodstock was the audience. Well, most of them are probably deadby now, I don't know (laughs). Law of averages, probably 50 percent of them are dead, anyway. You can't re-do it -- you can celebrate the dates."

On August 15th, 1998 -- nearly 29 years to the date of the Who's Woodstock performance, Pete Townshend returned to Bethel, New York to play a solo show on the site of Max Yasgur's farm. When we last caught up to Townshend, he told us he still regards the Who's 1969 Woodstock appearance as a watershed event in the band's career: "It was about the most important single concert that we ever did. It was more important than Monterey, much more important than our first show in New York, much more important than anything that followed."


The original Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place in Bethel, New York from August 15th to August 18th, 1969.

Acts on the bill included Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, the Who, the Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Grateful Dead, Sly & the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and many, many more.

Considered the defining event of 1960s counterculture, Woodstock attracted some 450,000 attendees to a largely peaceful event set against the turmoil of the decade's closing years.

Anniversary events were held in upstate New York in 1994 and 1999, with bands like Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Blind Melon, Bush and Limp Bizkit playing. The 1999 show ended with violence, fires, and alleged sexual assaults.

CHECK IT OUT: The Who on August 17th, 1969 performing "See Me, Feel Me" live at Woodstock: