Derek Woods Band will play annual festival at Woodstock host’s farm
At 31, Derek Woods is far too young to have attended the original Woodstock.
Next week, however, not only will the Hempfield resident have a chance to visit the original festival grounds in Bethel, N.Y., but his group, the Derek Woods Band, will play the annual Yasgur Road Reunion, held Aug. 15-18 at the family homestead of Max Yasgur, the farmer whose hayfield and surrounding pastures hosted Woodstock in 1969.
“It’s going to be incredible to be on the farm,” Woods said. “I’ve always really liked history, and soaking in the energy of everyone there for the 50th anniversary and remembering what happened, it’s going to be pretty amazing.”
The Yasgur Road Reunion does not take place in the same field where the original Woodstock was held — the Yasgur family homestead is about a mile southwest of the 1969 site — but Woods and his bandmates will have a chance to walk the festival grounds.
“For music festivals in general, that was the beginning,” he said. “It really showed a huge group of musicians and music lovers that this was possible. It was about unity, and people coming together for the music and to get along.”
Woods has been thinking about ways to get involved in the 50th anniversary for a couple of years, he said.
“We were in contact with Artie Kornfeld, one of the (Woodstock) co-founders,” Woods said. “I continued talking with him and looking at what was happening in and around the (anniversary) concert they’d planned for Watkins Glen.”
The location for what was to be Woodstock 50 changed multiple times, before ultimately being canceled via an announcement posted to Woodstock.com on July 31.
“I was doing some more research and I came upon the Yasgur Road Reunion,” Woods said. “We found the person who owns the farm now, and they welcomed us to come play.”
The Derek Woods Band will play Aug. 16, one of more than 35 bands performing during the weekend festival.
Tickets are $200 to $1,800, and are available along with lineup information at YasgurRoadReunion.com.
Bethel is about 5 hours, 45 minutes northeast of Pittsburgh and about 5 hours, 15 minutes from Greensburg.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .