Woodstock's Half Million

Excavating What Was Left Behind

By: - May 19, 2022

For two weeks in June, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will turn into an archeological dig site for students from  Binghamton University. Their goal? Uncover the untold stories of Woodstock, and provide insight into the entire experience of the iconic festival. 


"The Sandbox" site of Bethel Woods is known for being one of the historic areas where concert goers pitched their tents and made a home away from home during the 1969 festival. According to Neal V. Hitch, The Museum at Bethel Woods curator and Woodstock historian, this site is the "coolest" thing about Woodstock that no one knows about. He says it is the impetus for what has happened at all major festivals–from Coachella to Stagecoach–since. 


Every article–beer cans, pop-tops, cooking pots, metal grills–will paint a better picture of the famous festival. Beyond digging, the aim of this project is to provide a detailed map of where people were and how they lived amongst thousands of other attendees. Additionally, this is one of the only modern events that's significant enough to solicit this kind of archaeological attention, making the project that much more important.