From August 15 to 18, 1969, over 400,000 people descended upon a 600-acre dairy farm near White Lake in Bethel, New York to celebrate peace and music. The festival site became a protected area in 2017 when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Binghamton University’s Public Archaeology Facility is helping to map out the site to help the Museum at Bethel Woods plan interpretive walking routes in time for the concert’s 50th anniversary.
Maria O’Donovan, the project director, says the festival did not always follow preliminary plans:
“Archaeologists located 24 potential vendor booths concentrated on one side of the Bindy Bazaar area and not distributed as on the 1969 plans. This is more evidence that the festival took on a life of its own that organizers could not control.”