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“It's History” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Museum at Bethel Woods

The Museum at Bethel Woods
200 Hurd Road, Bethel, NY 12720
866-781-2922
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Ranked #1 of 4 attractions in Bethel
Type: Specialty Museums, History Museums
Attraction Details
Brookline
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“It's History”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

OK, I admit it. I am a balls to the wall fan of Woodstock '69. They could have left all the mud and stuck a cardboard sign up on the back entrance with 'Woodstock was here!' and I probably would be giving it 5 stars. So here are the pros and cons, IMHO.

Pros
A slick and professional space and operation
A smallish number of very cool documents (tickets, old newspapers)
Good Videos - a brief, 5 part video of the evolution of the Festival in the words of the participants, a video emphasizing the music and another emphasizing the overall experience
A good, if incomplete gift shop
I'm glad that the area of the stage was preserved and marked with a monument. I'm also happy that the bowl was preserved that made Max's farm such a great spot for a concert.
I guess I'm just thrilled that I could go there and see it in good condition.

Cons
A slick and professional space and operation
A smallish number of very cool documents (tickets, old newspapers, but not enough.)
The cashier at the Museum reminded me of Eliot Tiber's mom - unfriendly and unhelpful
They should be selling maps of the area pointing out historic spots
They should be selling the documentaries they show in the Museum (the unfriendly cashier told me "No, we don't, because they were made just for us." (Is that a reason?)
They should be selling facsimile copies of exhibit items like tickets and posters and documents, perhaps including a boxed collection. NASA does something like this for Apollo.
I just missed a major photographic exhibit of Woodstock - they should have more photos on permanent exhibit. They should dedicate more of the space to Woodstock, both in terms of permanent and temporary exhibitions.
I wish there was a stage, even a small one, where the real stage once stood.
I'd like more details in the exhibit re: Max, Eliot and others, including the story of their lives AFTER Woodstock I. I'd like to see more controversial details such as the story behind the Woodstock movie being finessed away from Mike and Artie. I'd also like more details about the performers issues with the movie.


Oh yes, since this has been a review of just the Museum, I feel that I must violate the rule and point out that the slickness and professionalism seems to have extended to the center for the arts in a very good way - it was packed with people attending a Luke Bryan concert on the day I was there. It appears that the Center has had a profound and positive effect on the area, boosting the economy and keeping the memory of Woodstock alive, hopefully for generations to come.
I'm not normally one for slickness, but if they make this a commercial success, and thus keep Woodstock (and Bethel) alive, I'm all for it.

Visited August 2013
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English first
Floral Park, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

I have been to the Museum at Bethel Woods twice now. It is really a great learning experience and lots of fun. I am of the Woodstock era so of course it brought back memories of all the events and music of the time. My sons, in their 20s also really enjoyed this museum. The grounds are really nice too. Gift shop is a little pricy!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Massachusetts, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Woodstock.... rainy day experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

We went to the Museusm on a rainy day, and had a great time. They do various expeditions on themes of the Festival and the times of the 60's! The Museum is top notch, from their exhibits, to the special exhibitions, right down to the napkins and bathrooms. They rum small films throughout in little kiosks, to larger films for 100 people in the larger theatre. Before we left, we drove down to the corner, parked at the small lot, and saw the bowl and stage area. Good deal.

Visited July 2013
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New Jersey
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
79 attraction reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“A Bucket list pick”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

This venue is beautiful. Worth going for what it is as much as what it was. The building is still shiny. the auditorium smells like an expensive leather pocketbook. The grounds are immaculate. Need a show off place for your wedding? yeah girl. We had a catered lunch prepared by Ovations food service. The food was catered fare but, well presented, fresh, hot and good actually. This was a buffet with more than enough for the second and third helpings. We all took cookies and brownies home and there was enough left for the staff that had escorted us all day. The plastic dinnerware was so nice I hated to throw it away. I mention them because they are the restaurant and snack bar kitchen and cater private events. We all went wow the whole tour from the ceilings to the floors. The staff is knowledgeably and egar to tell you everything you didn't suspect about the events of the period. The resident hippy spoke to us. He is just as much part of the whole history as the dirt. His evolution is remarkable. The museum is a lot to take on one visit. You need to plan to come back. I just enjoyed the assault of sound and color. Its like an amusement park upscale. You could spend a half hour in each time capsule to read and experience all it had to tell. I loved the commune bus. I understand the artist was angry that he was asked to distress his work to represent the period. I didn't get it at first and he didn't sign it. But if I had put that much into an instillation I think I would be angry if it was reduced to a stage back prop. I also loved the floors. It is a real acid trip. Now watch out for the gift shop. It is as interesting as the museum. I stopped dropping things on the counter when it got over a hundred dollars and made myself stay out of it. But if you have will power I say make sure you look at everything. The bathroom is lovely and they even have a family room. I have only seen this once before. Be sure to check out the gallery in the lower level. There are changing exhibits. This is a very economically depressed area of the country. The museum provides jobs so don't just go for the concerts bring everybody to see the museum and enjoy the grounds. This is a must support and keep alive.

Visited July 2013
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Mahopac, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Lance D”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

The Eagles Concert was great, the venue was clean, sat on the lawn area had a good time, have a nice dinner before arriving concert at one of the local resturants

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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