Here are photos of the original marker commemorating the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, which took place in Bethel, NY in August of 1969. There is currently a grassroots movement to have the 4 musical acts that were inadvertently omitted from the current monument (Quill, Tim Hardin, Bert Sommer, Keef Hartley Band) included on a separate plaque which is to be mounted in the center of the monument. It will also contain the names of the 4 young gentlemen who organized and produced the event: Artie Kornfeld, Michael Lang, John Roberts, and Joel Rosenman. Lastly, the property owner, Max Yasgur, who gave the organizers of the festival permission to hold the event on his dairy farm after they were snubbed twice by the town of Woodstock and the town of Wallkill respectively, is also due to be recognized.

The first 2 photos show the original plaque which was created by the town of Bethel and donated to the residents. This plaque was eventually stolen, so a “replacement plaque” was created soon afterwards.


The monument pictured below is the 2nd incarnation of the marker. The artist, Wayne Saward, has his signature tag on a Belgian block embedded directly underneath the Woodstock logo. The Woodstock logo was designed by artist Arnold Skolnick as a promotional poster for the festival. Wording was also revised on the large plaque. The bottom of the plaque now says: THIS MARKER ERECTED BY OWNERS LOUIS NICKY AND JUNE GELISH, who purchased the farm from Max Yasgur’s estate. The large plaque was placed onto the monument before the 2 medium sized plaques were added underneath the Woodstock logo, and to each side of the artist’s tag at a later date


The current, and 3rd incarnation of the marker is seen on the monument below, after receiving 2 medium sized side plaques with 27 out of the 31 performers who played at the Woodstock festival. It was lowered into a large hole on the hill overlooking the festival field, where it remains to this day. It’s also painted and repaired annually.


The proposed evolution of the monument will move the artist’s signature tag to the bottom of the monument below the largest plaque, which would allow the installation of a smaller, middle plaque in its former place. The small middle plaque will contain the names of the 4 missing performers, and 4 producers of the event.  A few other minor corrections were made for a misspelling and a date was added. The addition of Max Yasgur’s name and where the festival was held will reside on the lower part of the largest plaque.


Submitted by musician and author: Bill Lucano