NEPA Scene Staff

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in New York cancels entire 2020 Pavilion season due to coronavirus

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in New York cancels entire 2020 Pavilion season due to coronavirus
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From a press release:

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a nonprofit cultural center located at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York, announced the cancellation of its 2020 Pavilion season today. Bethel Woods management, along with its board of trustees, made the decision to suspend its Pavilion stage programming this summer as a result of the continued threat to health and safety caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bethel Woods’ season was set to include over 20 shows, including James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, The Black Crowes, and Mountain Jam, a three-day music festival from some of the organizers behind the Peach Music Festival in Scranton, which is about a 90-minute drive away.

“Our concerts have been enjoyed against a backdrop of the invigorating summer sun and the bright moon and stars on a clear night. At other times, we endured torrential rain, lightning, and squalls of wind. ​And here we are, in 2020, facing what feels like the most challenging storms of our lifetime,” said Eric Frances, Chief Executive Officer of Bethel Woods.

“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that the Pavilion stage will not be opening this summer. We have worked tirelessly to navigate governmental restrictions and the pandemic’s impact on the concert industry, resulting in many artists cancelling their tours. I know this is disappointing news to all our loyal donors, members, sponsors and guests who have shared 14 summers of concerts with their friends and families. We cannot, however, safely and in good faith provide our guests the quality experience that has become the standard of Bethel Woods.”

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit cultural organization, depends on its ticket sales and the generosity of individuals and corporate underwriters in order to carry out its mission to inspire and empower individuals through shared experiences. The center, which includes a museum and a variety of programming, reaches over 250,000 guests and participants every year as it seeks to amplify and honor a historic legacy.

“Since breaking ground in 2004, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has been a beacon of hope, promise, joy, and optimism for our region. By joining together for inspiring musical performances with family, friends, and live music fans alike, we remind the world how powerful shared human experiences can make lasting memories. Last year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, echoing the profound transformative impact that togetherness can bestow on an entire generation,” Frances added.

At this time, many concert dates have been moved to 2021. The 800+ acre campus, consisting of multiple venues and spaces, is exploring alternative programming if viable.

“The Event Gallery, museum, and its exhibits, along with our new outdoor augmented reality tour, will open as soon as it is safe to do so. While this is not the outcome any of us desired, we assure you that we will weather this storm and connect with you in other ways until we can be together again,” Frances stated.

Ticket holders, members, and season lawn pass holders have the option to donate all or a portion of their ticket(s)/membership value to help sustain Bethel Woods and continue programming and preservation efforts at the historic site; defer their value to respective 2021 events, memberships, or season lawn passes; or receive a full refund. Any donation of tickets, memberships, and season lawn passes will be matched by a generous member of the board of trustees. For details and FAQs on refunds visit

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (200 Hurd Rd., Bethel, NY) inspires, educates, and empowers individuals through the arts and humanities by presenting a diverse selection of culturally-rich performances, popular artists, and community and educational programming. Located 90 miles from New York City at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, the lush 800-acre campus includes a Pavilion Stage amphitheater with seating for 15,000, an intimate 440-seat indoor Event Gallery, the award-winning Museum at Bethel Woods, and a conservatory for arts education programming.

Through the in-depth study and exhibition of the social, political, and cultural events of the 1960s, as well as the preservation of the historic site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Bethel Woods educates individuals about the issues and lessons of the decade while inspiring a new generation to contribute positively to the world around them. The not-for-profit organization relies on the generous support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to develop and sustain programs that improve the quality of life in the region and beyond.