Welcome to the Woodstock - Preservation Archives
Dedicated to the Historic Preservation of the Site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival

Hurd & West Shore Rds
Sullivan County
Bethel  NY




April 25, 2004

William Hanley Jr.
Miramac, Mass. 01860

Town of Bethel
Attn: Planning Board
P.O. Box 300
White Lake, NY 12786

To the Bethel Planning Board,

My name is Bill Hanley and I was involved with the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. I am writing with regards to the proposed placement of buildings and perimeter fencing on and around the Site of the Original 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair as part of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. I am aware that the Gerry Foundation plans to place its Central Buildings Complex on the top plateau of the festival site and I felt that needed to write to you and express my concerns prior to allowing any permits to be issued to the developer. My involvement with Woodstock was that of designer of the sound system used, mixing of and recording of all of the music that came from that stage. I have been in the field of live sound engineering for over forty years and I, more than most understand how relevant the Woodstock festival was. My credits include the Miami Pop Festival, Atlanta Pop Festivals 1 and 2, the Texas International Pop Festival, and numerous others. It was myself and Michael Lang who were attracted to, and agreed upon the piece of property that the Gerry Foundation now sees fit to destroy. Though over thirty years have passed, the historic and cultural relevance of the festival and the site itself remain as important now, as it did then.

Although I believe that Mr. Gerry's idea of building a performing arts center is a great thing for Bethel and Sullivan County, I agree with the Woodstock Preservation Alliance that the developers have a number of alternative locations on which to build their core buildings complex, and that fencing and placing structures on this historic site itself is unnecessary. It would be an injustice and insult to those of us who made it famous. I know that other Woodstock alumni, who if not for them the Woodstock site would have remained another pasture, wholeheartedly disagree with the Gerry Foundation�s desire to build on the Woodstock site. Myself, Chipmonck, John Morris, and Artie Kornfeld to name just a few have been in contact with the Woodstock Preservation Alliance and share their disappointment that any thought to ruining the legend and magic of Woodstock would have been entertained. If you allow permits to the Gerry Foundation so they can build on the very asset that will define your arts center, you will have partaken in the destruction of part of America's heritage. I ask that you think about this before involving yourselves in a great travesty. Do not allow the Gerry Foundation to destroy this historic and socially significant place.

William Hanley Jr.