Richie Havens Memorial at Woodstock Anniversary on Sunday

Back to the garden…

On Sunday (August 18) in Bethel, the ashes of music legend Richie Havens will be scattered across the field where the historic Woodstock Festival took place in 1969, which today is the site of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. The life and music of Havens – who passed away in April at the age of 72 – will be celebrated with a “Day of Song and Remembrance Honoring Richie Havens.” Admission is free.

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The Bethel Woods grounds will open at 10am. The memorial celebration will begin at 3pm in the Bethel Woods Market Shed; seating begins at 2pm.

Guest speakers include Richie’s longtime friends and fellow activists Danny Glover and Louis Gossett Jr. (who co-wrote “Handsome Johnny” with Havens), as well as original 1969 Woodstock Festival organizers Michael Lang and Joel Rosenman.

In addition, there will be very special musical appearances by Jose Feliciano; John Hammond; John Sebastian; Steve Gorn with Sanjoy Bandopadhyay and Samir Chatterjee; Guy Davis; Stephanie Winters & Walter Parks; Dayna Kurtz and others. Stage performances will be hosted by radio DJ Dennis Elsas of WFUV and SiriusXM.

Following the performances, Richie’s ashes will be scattered with flower petals from the air across the field of Max Yasgur’s Farm where Richie Havens played his legendary performance 44 years ago.

Tickets to the seated performance area are no longer available, but anyone who wishes to attend is welcome. Bethel Woods will run supplemental sound to the concert field so that everyone in attendance will be able to hear, and the aerial scattering of ashes will be visible from the field.

In addition, there will be other events on the grounds throughout the day, including a drum circle hosted by Jimi Hendrix’s percussionist Juma Sultan at 12:30pm on the original festival field.

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