Democrat File Photo by Fred Stabbert III
NO SHOW THIS YEAR: The names listed on the back of this 1999 Day in the Garden attendee's shirt will not be appearing at the Woodstock site in Bethel this year. In fact, no one will be.
Gerry and Company To Concentrate on Long-Term
By Dan Hust
FERNDALE May 30, 2000 -- Stating that efforts will now be focused on the development of a performing arts center at the Woodstock site in Bethel, the Gerry Foundation announced Friday that no concerts are planned this year at the corner of Hurd and West Shore roads.
After much deliberation, we have decided not to have a series of formal events on the site this summer, said Gerry Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Drapkin in a prepared release issued Friday. Turning this important symbol of American culture into a permanent place to enjoy and recognize the performing arts has included a number of steps.
Drapkin said the first step was Liberty billionaire Alan Gerrys purchase of the famed 37-acre 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair site in the Town of Bethel in 1996. The second was staging two summers of concerts with such performers as Britney Spears, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, the Beach Boys, the Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind and Richie Havens. The concerts attracted as many as 30,000 people at one time.
Now we are taking another major step forward by implementing our plans to establish a world-class performing arts center, Drapkin continued. The most efficient use of our time and resources should be concentrated on long-term development. The staging of concert activities is enormously time-consuming and impacts our internal capacity to execute our long-term vision.
But all will not be silent at the site this year, said Gerry Foundation Director of Communications Glenn Pontier during an interview on Friday.
Just because we are not doing a series of concerts doesnt mean were not doing something at the site, he said.
Pontier explained that the popular Fall Garden Harvest Market which debuted last year at the site will continue and be expanded. And he promised that announcements on the status of what Gerry has called an international themed destination will be forthcoming throughout this summer.
He added that the past two years worth of A Day in the Garden concerts were not considered failures by the Gerry Foundation or its subsidiary, GF Entertainment and actually spurred the decision to create a permanent attraction.
You might say the last two years were research and development [for the long-term project], Pontier remarked. In the short term, [not doing any concerts this year] is unfortunate, but this [announcement] is good news.