Welcome to the Woodstock - Preservation Archives
Dedicated to the Historic Preservation of the Site of the 1969
THE WOODSTOCK SITE
Hurd & West Shore Rds
ELLIOT TIBER - ANOTHER
ELLIOT TIBER is the man who gave the original permit to hold a music
and arts festival in White Lake, Town of Bethel, New York State in
the summer of 1969.
If not for Elliot, there would not have been the now acclaimed
Woodstock Festival on Yasgur's Farm. Elliot operated the disastrous
El Monaco Motel for 12 years before the miracle of the century
As President of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce for several years,
obtained a permit for a Music/Arts Festival which he attempted to
get started on his own mini 15 acres at the entrance intersection of
Route 17B & Route 55. That spring of 1969, a total economic disaster
for all of Sullivan County, Elliot gave his barn to the
Theatre Group from NYC's Greenwich Village in exchange for a season
of theatre. He converted his casino (former bingo room) into an
underground cinema, also, given rent free to film people trying to
get a start in the movie biz.
Nobody in the county responded to the art shows which displayed
Elliot's own paintings (he was a Professor of Fine Arts at Hunter
College/City University at the time ) and the work of the then
County Historian, Manville Wakefield, who is also a painter. Only
Elaine Grossinger & her family arrived to lend support to the goings
on! The locals were busy hating Tiber & his Greenwich Village hippie
theatre misfits, homosexuals and lesbians, who found a safe haven in
a county beyond humane redemption, and his Jewish parents who were
installed at the ugly motel.
The Woodstock Festival was originally planned to take place near
Woodstock, NY, which is 60 miles from Bethel. Plans fell through for
that location and the festival moved to Wallkill. In July of 1969
Elliot read that the festival was in trouble in Wallkill. He phoned
the Woodstock offices, spoke to Mike Lang, and invited him to avail
the festival with his permit. Suspicious Lang, having been bombarded
with hucksters, cheats, and liars for a year while trying to get
Woodstock installed, asked what the price a.k.a.catch was?
The catch was, and still is to this day, that the people of Sullivan
County and the World want this event to take place! And because of
the handful of local politicians who, for the sake of their own
agendas, do not want Woodstock to happen (unless, of course, it is
to their own economic advantage) the world was robbed of 27
When the Woodstock Crew ruled out The El Monaco swampland and were
about to get back into their helicopters, limos, and quit... Elliot
panicked. He said his milkman, Yasgur, had plenty of land.. land
that was a natural amphitheater, filled only with cows. "I'm sure
Max will put the cows in his house if they are in the way. Max
supported our theatre barn, he loves music.. Lets go ask him!!"
We did. He did. They did. It was done...
"For the record, Max Yasgur made the best sour cream, cottage
cheese, and ice cream in the world! And he personally brought
his goodies to feed the Earthlight crew and performers -- who were
mowing the lawns and eating the cuttings as salads when things were
so economically dire at the height of the business season in
downtown White Lake that year!"
The rest is now movie history as they say. It took 20 years. In
1989, Elliot came out - and got in touch with Michael Lang and the
20th anniversary celebrations. Life Magazine featured Tiber & his
search for the Woodstock Baby (which he delivered himself). After
being totally invisible about his major role in the Woodstock
Nation, finally, Elliot was doing national and international media
interviews telling the story.
In 94, Festival Conservancy press published his hilarious blow by
blow description of how he came to be (as the media referred to him)
“The Gay Man” who helped give birth to the Woodstock Nation!
After Woodstock, Elliot sold the El Monaco Motel to its present
owners, and fled to Europe. He became an instant success writing and
starring in his own television comedy specials on French Network
television in Belgium. This lead to writing plays and musicals for
theatre with his new partner, famed Director, Andre Ernotte. Within
a quick 3 years he won Grand Prix awards for best films at the
Grenoble & Paris film festivals and then he and Andre had their
first novel, Rue Haute, a bestseller. It was made into a film and
became the official Belgian/French entry into the Academy Awards. It
became a semi-finalist. Their major hit musical comedy: "Attention
Fragile" in Paris lead them to NYC, where they wrote and developed
plays and musicals.
He lives in Manhattan & commutes to Paris, Brussels, & Amsterdam.
[excerpt] - Courtesy of Yasgur's Road
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