Sullivan County Democrat
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THE SUMMER PAVILION at the soon-to-open Bethel Woods Center for the Arts can seat 4,800 under its sweeping roof, while another 12,000 can occupy the wide lawn surrounding it. Tickets are now being sold to fill up every seat for this July 1’s grand opening with the New York Philharmonic.

Partial Lineup

By Dan Hust
BETHEL — March 24, 2006 – The first tastes of a full-course run of concerts at the to-open Bethel Woods Center for the Arts were offered this week by the Gerry Foundation.
And that includes a series of events marking the 37th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Festival at the center’s new home next to that historic Hurd Rd. field in Bethel.
First up, of course, is the much-heralded opening of the 8,000-square-foot, 16,800-seat summer pavilion on July 1, complete with the New York Philharmonic, accompanied by pianist Lang Lang and soprano Audra McDonald.
Tickets for the 7 p.m. event (to be followed by a gigantic fireworks display) are already on sale at bethel,, ticket or by calling 454-3388 or 1-800-886-1699.
But don’t wait long. By midweek, most of the best seats in the pavilion had been sold out (unless you’re planning to go alone). The remaining $55 tickets offered under-the-roof seating many rows back.
For those wanting a more authentic Woodstock experience, the cheapest seats – at $20 apiece – are outdoors on the landscaped lawn, designed to hold 12,000.
Attendees wanting that experience without the threat of another occurrence of Woodstock’s infamous rain can pay $35 for a seat among the 4,800 under the pavilion’s roof but close to the lawn.
Tickets, however, are not yet available for a July 22-23 jazz festival with Grammy-winner Dianne Reeves (recently made famous for her participation in “Good Night, and Good Luck”), nor for the Woodstock anniversary concerts slated for August 12-13.
According to the press release issued Tuesday, more acts will be announced by the end of April – presumably because organizers are finalizing the details of musicians’ and performers’ complex schedules.
Watch the Democrat for more information regarding those upcoming events.

Meet One of Bethel Woods'
First Ticket Buyers

By Dan Hust
MONGAUP VALLEY — March 24, 2006 – Steve Fleissig built a second home in the Chapin Estate last year in part because he heard about a massive performing arts center project down the road in Bethel.
Little did he know he would become one of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts’ first official ticket buyer.
How did he do it?
“That’s an interesting story,” remarked the Livingston, NJ, attorney.
On Monday, about 12 hours before the rest of the world knew about it, Fleissig and several other homeowners at the Chapin Estate received a ticket-availability e-mail from Mike Watkins, one of the principal builders of these upscale homes located in the woods next to the Swinging Bridge and Toronto reservoirs.
It was about 10 p.m., and Fleissig was on his computer in New Jersey before retiring for the night. He called in his wife, Harriet, and together they browsed Bethel Woods’ just-updated Website,, to see what was available.
In seconds, they were on Ticketmaster’s related Website ordering four tickets to the July 1 grand opening with the New York Philharmonic.
“We were very excited,” he said.
And they didn’t stop there. They also signed on as members of the Charter Club, designed to help fund ongoing events at Bethel Woods. (Membership amounts range from $50 to $7,500 and feature a graduating scale of perks like free tickets and program listings.)
This is, after all, what they have been waiting for.
“We kept an eye out for this,” remarked Fleissig.
Indeed, their anticipation has been mounting ever since Harriet, an occupational therapist, spotted an ad for the Chapin Estate in the New York Times and took a drive with her husband through a Sullivan County Steve hadn’t seen since his days as a kid in an area bungalow colony.
Needless to say, they fell in love with the area – their new home near Swinging Bridge, in particular.
“It feels very peaceful and tranquil and relaxing,” said Steve.
Interestingly, he planned to go to the original Woodstock concert in 1969, but he didn’t make it thanks to a broken nose courtesy of his brother in a roughhouse basketball game.
However, a close friend did go – one who will be visiting the Fleissigs this weekend in their Town of Bethel home . . . and one who might have a chance to go with them to a concert at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.
“We have four tickets,” said Fleissig – all in Section 1, the closest to the stage.
Of course, any friend of the Fleissigs has already been taken to the Woodstock monument next door to the to-open center.
“We drive them over and all pose for pictures at the monument,” said Fleissig.
Come July, music and fireworks will reverberate across that monument and the famous field it marks – and the Fleissigs will be there to witness it.
“It’s going to be a wonderful venue,” said Fleissig.

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