Another Woodstock Festival in Saugerties?

Jeremy Schaller, one of the family farm’s owners, told the Saugerties Town Board the family has received a proposal from the promoter of a music festival.

“In 1960, my grandfather bought the farm, and then in 1968 Michael Lang came to ask him to do the first Woodstock on the property. He reluctantly said ‘no’ at the time…In 1993, Michael Lang came to my father, and proposed another Woodstock festival, and as you know, Woodstock II happened on Winston Farm. I think you remember it as a very positive thing for the town and for everybody that participated in it.”

The current promoter is Melvin Benn, who has promoted concerts worldwide, Schaller said. Benn first approached the family in November, and told them Winston Farm would be his first choice for a festival series in the United States, Schaller said. “He said he thought it was the ideal site to do another music festival.”

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“His festivals come with great taste, and they are reoccurring, usually on a yearly basis,” Schaller said. Citing several festivals Benn has promoted, Schaller said the number of spectators generally falls between 40,000 and 50,000. Since all the people at the festival would be paid ticket holders, the likelihood of the numbers getting out of hand is low.

Benn would like to promote an annual concert series, with a highlight in 2019, the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock concert. Schaller said.”If we can start small, there is the possibility that we could do something for the 50th anniversary of Woodstock here.”

Benn wants to see tentative approval from the Town Board before he goes ahead with plans, Schaller said, or at least a willingness on the board’s part to speak with him. “Just to have an open discussion; that if you guys like the conversation you might pursue doing this festival,” he said.

Supervisor Kelly Myers said she doesn’t think the board has enough information to approve the concert, but it is certainly open to further discussion.

The Woodstock Festival has never been held in Woodstock. The first festival was in the town of Bethel, in Sullivan County, August 15 to 18, 1969. The promoters – and the site – were overwhelmed with the massive turnout. The original site is now the home of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a not-for-profit performing arts center and museum.

On the 25th anniversary of the original festival, the second Woodstock Festival was held at Winston Farm, August 12-15, 1994. A third festival, held in Rome, NY in 1999, ended in violence and accusations of rape.

Benn’s concert would not be called Woodstock, but rather the “Latitude Music Festival,” Schaller said. He cited festivals Benn organizes annually in England, including the Glastonbury Music Festival, which has been held annually since 1970, and the Reading and Leeds Festivals, also an annual linked pair of festivals.

There are 14 comments

  1. Marlane Barbier

    MR. Schaler has no interest of us who live here in Saugerties and having this would be nothing less then caos.. ( this is from a person whos land borders Schalers.. and Mr . Schaler you are a mean person ) so playing sweet to get us here to do what you like is only to put money in your pocket ..Here are some issues that we who do border his proprty will face ,, people thinking it would be funny to chase your live stock. steal your flowers pass out in our yards, ect. People have made their own means of toliets in the yards. People knock on our doors in all hours asking to use showers and bathroom
    . I for one do not want a on going concert in my back yard.. Supervisor Myers PLEASE give this deep consideration .. Clean up, out houses, pushing the wild lfe out of their homes , The Drugs, the alcohol and fights. more rented outside police, we will need to hire security for people land and houses around the clock …. I love music ,but all I can say doing this would be doing nothing but causing havic on Winston Farms Neighbors. and If Mr. Schaller does not have the interest of bringing money into our community , He is Interested about his own pockets only. One persons opinion .. and if you do not border this property and see the bears, deers, rabbits, fishers, bob cat and coyotes . Hawks.. ect. To scare them and make them run is so unfair .. Mr. Schaller we met once and that is all it took for me . You really have no concern at all about Saugerties .. KEEP OUR SMALL TOWN SWEET>> ( IT HAS EOUGH OF ItS OWN PROBLEMS )Do not let this man make more money on this community .. I for one will be at evey meeting to vote against it ..

    1. Fred

      Dude that is the worst comment i have ever seen anyone wright…You have to be one uptight person of your community who everyone hates, And i am pretty sure that you are now 100% jealous that the concert wouldn’t be taken place on your land to line your pockets rather then MR. Schaler….I don’t know anything about your town, what i do know is that your judging a big group of people based on what???? Some things that happened in the past at other events…First let me say this you are a very small closed minded person and to not see what good can come out of a event like this is unreal….Your the reason people start to get agitated. Did you ever watch the movie taking woodstock…If you didn’t then watch it because there are the people in that movie that owned a hotel and 100% completely opened it up for the on goers of woodstock to sleep eat take showers whatever, because those are good people…Your just a mean mean person and if you don’t want anything to do with it then put up no tress passing signs lock up your live stock and take a freaking vacation then you wont have to go through the trouble of letting someone use your bathroom….You’ll be at every meeting to vote against it…Dude that just awesome because all your doing is taking a chance and opportunity to help make your community a lot of money by having all those people there help the sales increase in your bushiness’s by like a million%…Mr Schaller would not be the only person benefiting from this every person who owns a business in your community would be on top of the food chain to make money, except for you of course because the only thing you own probably is livestock so unless concert goers want to start slaughtering animals your and the shirt end of the stick buddy…Oh wait you can always charge 50 dollars for parking…LMFAO because that’s what someone like you would do

  2. Jeff

    I agree, saugerties does have enough problems including small minded people who
    Point the finger at other peoples “self
    Interests” yet only list concerns that would impact them directly. You admit to judging and labeling some one By one meeting and then continue to judge this concert and promoter based on one previous concert from 20 years ago. It is this narrow mind set that is driving people born and raised here out of this top 10 coolest town. Good luck to you and your wildlife paying our portion of the already over inflated taxes. The rest of us will be seeking a more affordable and open minded community where people don’t view a
    Business venture as a selfish act rather than opportunity to do something beneficial for self and others in the community. Remember? The type of thing this country was built on!!

  3. Pat Donohue

    The last time I was at the Winston Estate , the main stone house was in schambles, roof caved in etc. The other homes, several of them, were in the same shape. I know this land and rode horses there when it belonged to the Winstons. The current owner has just let it rot where it stands.By the looks of it, he has no interest in Saugerties, preserving a beautiful stone colonial house or anything else on the property.
    I have no hidden agenda here as I now live in Florida, however for the good of Saugerties, its land, its nature and wild life, any monies gained would be spent by those within 2 miles of the site ten fold.

  4. Marlane Barbier

    Jeff that one meeting said more then years of knowing could .Second I bet your land does Not border Winston Farms.. I am not worried about just myself but my town in whole . If you could show me where money is being made that goes back into the community not just pockets of the Shalers, promotors( not from here) .Show me after all the costs of hiring more police, security, extra toll takers, busing from spot to spot , the drugs, the alcohol . ( and dont try and tell me it wont be here . I know better) Not to metion traffic .. YOu tell me it to be fair to the wild life ( that has not returned to its fullness since the first one here)?? .oh and even our road and proerty that was destroyed by the last one my cellar never flooded till the last concert because land was moved. ,but you dont see . Show where this concert is going to help out taxes?? that one I dont get .. As far as being one of the coolest towns in America ,It still is we don’t need in papers it is our TOWN . These things I have listed would not just impact me directly they would IMPACT the whole town . SO yeah I guess I am being narrow minded when I see man who wanted to sell to a casino, sell out to a medical company that would pollute our waters and land . It is you who is small minded .. Clean water , freash air , and good soil to plant food in is to much to ask ?? what was I thinking ??? As far as the wild life I guess I will help pick up thier portion of the taxes ( what a joke) .. OH and you accuse me of labeling someone after one meeting , He was mean ,and his family who hunts this property has no regards for thers property they get dropped off early in the morning and walk through our properties push the deer to a certain spot to shoot them . That is not a person or people who I would want to be friends with it is UNETHICAL when hunting . and illegal .(and yes I am a hunter too but follow the rules ) . As pat has said the proerty is run down terribly . If Mr. SChaller wants to help our community and make money heres a idea. Fix the houses up make it a working farm . have volanteers, pigs, goats, cows, planted food. all done by th ecommunity . Rent rooms out and let peole live and see how a really farm is . He will get farm tax right off, He will make money off the rooms. and the food could go to families in the commuinty who need it. We could have enough cattle there produce enough milk for the whole town. He could have guided snow mobile trails, bike trials, Local artists coudl display and sell their art, local music , weekend picnics . But now you tell me Im narrow minded and not looking out for my Saugerties brother and sisters interest. I bet to if we wanted to have a bike week here like Laconia and Daytona you would be the first to put it down .. OH and who ever hide under my name and put Mary hates a party .. Well I guess you never been to one of our parties huh ???? Jeff, my husband and I more then willing to meet and discuss our differances over coffee.. maybe we could come to understand each other better.. Yeah it is the narrow minded one who is reaching out the olive branch …………..

    1. FRED

      Please mention drugs and alcohol 1 more time barber…I know i am a little late on this post and who knows if anyone will read it but I’m gonna voice my opinion anyways once again…… hERE IS A QUOTE FROM YOU YOURSELF

      “Show me after all the costs of hiring more police, security, extra toll takers, busing from spot to spot “”””THE DRUGS, THE ALCOHOL ( AND DON’T TRY AND TELL ME IT WONT BE HERE. I KNOW BETTER””””””)

      THERE ARE FREAKING DRUGS AND ALCOHOL EVERYWHERE, INCLUDING YOUR SO CALLED PRECIOUS TOWN THAT YOU LIVE IN AND WANT TO KEEP PURE…..AND 1 MORE THING YOU TALK ABOUT HIRING EXTRA TOLL WORKERS AND POLICE AND SECURITY…..CAN YOU NOT GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL THAT THAT MEANS MORE JOBS AND EXTRA MONEY FOR WORKERS OF YOUR TOWN????BEWCAUSE I AM PRETTY SURE THAT THE TOLL TAKERS AND POLICE AND SECURITY WOULD BE LOCAL PEOPLE AND IF NOT YOUR TOWN LOCAL WELL THEN NOT TO FAR AWAY..THIS WOULD GIVE PEOPLE WITHIN A 100 MILE RADIUS, MAYBE EVEN MORE TO BE ABLE TO WORK AND MAKE SOME EXTRA MONEY BY HAVING THIS EVENT BY YOU…BUT HEY KEEP WORRYING ABOUT YOUR LIVSTOCK AND PEOPLE WANTING TO USE YOUR RESTROOM……LOSER!!!!!

  5. wideglide 98

    PEACE.. OK lets leave the peace right where it is WIth the MUSIC of The new EAGLE that is making Winston Farms his home. LOVE = The coyote calling his brother and sisters at night, and Even more peace ,LOve and Music. of all Birds singing , the deer playing ,The song and thumping of a male turkey calling for a mate, bull frogs at night, peeper letting you knwo spring is starting is true : Peace and GOD’s love to the music of the new humming birds wings fluttering ,and the OWl who sings at night … RFWOODSTOCK > this is true peace ,love and music.. PEACE WITH NATURE , LOVE OF OUR BROTHER ANIMALS, AND MUSIC OF ALL THESE ANIMALS .. SHHHHHHHH LISTEN , beautiful music , .. feel the peace ??? LOOK … the love of all !!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Elizabeth

    Peace love music indeed. How about a little understanding! This is a music festival here that is being proposed. Not armageddon! While we must live in unison with our land and its wildlife surely its not to be something that cannot be enjoyed by all. Having young people come to our community and see what we all love and enjoy on a daily basis will only open them up to appreciate nature more. We are talking a couple of days here.
    The vitriol being spewed towards Mr Schaller in earlier posts I quite honestly find embarrassing. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course, how one meeting with a person enables them to label him mean and self serving is not how we want people to think of our community. I doubt very much that a meaningful open conversation was had at this meeting. It sounds to me that someone had pre concieved notions about Mr Schaller because of past activities by people in his family.
    I myself have also met Mr Schaller and in no way found him anything like how he was portrayed by one previous post. He was engaging and talked of his love of our area and how he has been trying to connect with the community and do something good for the area. He has been coming here since he was a small child and is looking to build a home here and put his families land to good use.
    How do we know that Mr Schaller is indeed not trying to do something positive for our community? All I am saying is that the man should not be pre judged and be given a chance to open a dialogue with the community that he wants to be a part of.
    To label him an outsider who is trying exploit us without giving him a chance to explain his ideas could very well be seen as some to be “mean” and indeed small minded. Dialogue is the path to understanding.
    Fear of the unknown may be real but not the way to move forward.
    If we can be somewhat open to new ideas and able to actually listen with an open heart and mind then who knows what could be possible. Possibly something positive for everyone. Now wouldn’t that be something. Maybe Mr Schaller is just as open to new ideas and ways in which together we can find some common ground that can be positive for everyone involved.
    With the money generated by such an event there has to be room in here for some of it to benefit our community in some way. Together we should explore what those ways could be. We should talk to the people of Hunter who allow Mountain Jam every year to get ideas to see why it works so well there. That is a great event and to see all those young people out in the sunshine (or rain) enjoying themselves on the mountainside each year is a wonderful experience for so many. Why could it not be for us as well. Of course there will be difficulties and not without its detractors but we have an opportunity here. Surely it should be explored.

  7. max

    I can’t see how this concert could hurt our town. For one it would bring in extra business and create temporary work for some locals in a town were jobs are scarce. As for the wildlife, let’s be honest, if a coyote or bear showed up on your porch would you treat it like a house pet or chase it away?? Where’s the difference? As for the owners hunting the property(which has no relevence to this) I’ve seen many a deer carcus on townsfolk property during hunting season and not everyone in town “follows the rules” when no one’s looking. I would think the hiring of extra security, clean up and any other expenses related to this event would be the responsiblity of either the promoters or the owners. That’s something the town should negotiate. Also, I don’t think the owners are trying to line their pockets with money considering that Winston Farm is the largest tax payer in Saugerties and the owners have been paying that tax for decades. Whatever they receive in compensation is probably a “drop in the bucket” compared to their expenses all these years. As for making this a working farm to benefit the community, that,s actually a great idea but who’s going to finance the massive project associated in making that happen if the owners can’t or won’t. At least this event would put us on the map which could generate business for our town from tourists. Maybe us music loving locals could even get free tickets to the event.

  8. Shawn stralka

    I would like to state that I’m sure that the majority of you if not all of you who speak Ill of a festival in saugerties has probably never been to recent music/art festivals and are just 100 % bias of what you stand for. And maybe in the 90s the Woodstock festival or any festival were well regulated. And the fear of it becomin another Woodstock 99 brings animosity instantly to peoples mind when speaking about a festival. You should try by first going to a music/arts festival and try it out. There are plenty of small time cheaper festivals around Ny and the new England east coast area. People for the most part treat you and the land they are on with respect and like it’s their own family or land. The amenities alone at modern festivals are unlike Woodstock. Festival producer really go all out and people pay for it which inturn brings revenue to the town. Do you think a well known ski resort would continue to use their money making mountain every year for 8 years straight if they thought it was being violated? Get real, and open your minds. Try spmethin out before you accuse it of being evil. I live in saugerties too and I think it would be great, for many profitable reasons, for the promoters, staging companies, labor companies, trucking companies, and all the rest of the venders and business people who would provide services in or based around the festival. Not to mention the fact it’s in our town. Yes this schaler guy maybe makin money off it but that’s his job, it’s how he eats and provides for his family. It may be lucrative, and unlike other mainstream jobs but it’s what he’s good at and passionate about. people pay good money for good music and good atmospheres. Maybe you’ll find yourself at one of these things and you’ll open your mind about other things. Stop trying to bring negativity to positive situations. Thank you

  9. Mimicme

    Here is another opinion . These concerts like the past would have their own vendors on the property . Water and food ,along with alcohol would not come from local vendors. Our property too borders this land. To see the wild life, Would it be fare to have these animals scared and chased ,leaving their homes and hiding leaving their young due to fear???? It so unfair to them !!! I to have seen the new bald eagle making the farm his home . If this is to be a concert keep it small keep the sales of tickets to a few hundred not 40,000 to 50,000 . That is a lot of traffic and people. People do use the streams to urinante in. The out houses do cause more flies and the stench . I do not think a few tickets giving out is worth the agravation. Max ,I am a Hunter . I do follow the rules to the dotted i and crossed t , and I know there are alot of people who dont so it does not make it right. Onto the taxes paid by Shaler Im sure he gets a write off with his buisness with it .. As to sitting and talking with the board about this lets set a date… As I said I to border this land . It is all of us who will have our lives disturbed during these concerts . but since it does affect you daily life ,You are all for it .. So how would you all like a bunch of people you do not know camping ,drinking , drugging ,ohh and don’t forget using yrou land as a toilet , sleeping where they passed out in your back yard? seriously Please think hard. and this does need to be put out there on the table . If it does happen it should come with alot of rules … the count of people is a big one .. Using our local buisnesses is another . Let local people rent out their land too why should they not make any money. let school kids make money for their schools sports , music, arts. by being the only ones to be able to sell water. and keep it small not people every where.. ohh Elizabeth, how would these people see all the things wideglide mentioned if we have huge lights all over again and people everywhere ,then there is no wildlife or beauty to be seen except smog and trafic..

  10. dan DI

    Here is another opinion . These concerts like the past would have their own vendors on the property . Water and food ,along with alcohol would not come from local vendors. Our property too borders this land. To see the wild life, Would it be fare to have these animals scared and chased ,leaving their homes and hiding leaving their young due to fear???? It so unfair to them !!! I to have seen the new bald eagle making the farm his home . If this is to be a concert keep it small keep the sales of tickets to a few hundred not 40,000 to 50,000 . That is a lot of traffic and people. People do use the streams to urinante in. The out houses do cause more flies and the stench . I do not think a few tickets giving out is worth the agravation. Max ,I am a Hunter . I do follow the rules to the dotted i and crossed t , and I know there are alot of people who dont so it does not make it right. Onto the taxes paid by Shaler Im sure he gets a write off with his buisness with it .. As to sitting and talking with the board about this lets set a date… As I said I to border this land . It is all of us who will have our lives disturbed during these concerts . but since it does affect you daily life ,You are all for it .. So how would you all like a bunch of people you do not know camping ,drinking , drugging ,ohh and don’t forget using yrou land as a toilet , sleeping where they passed out in your back yard? seriously Please think hard. and this does need to be put out there on the table . If it does happen it should come with alot of rules … the count of people is a big one .. Using our local buisnesses is another . Let local people rent out their land too why should they not make any money. let school kids make money for their schools sports , music, arts. by being the only ones to be able to sell water. and keep it small not people every where.. ohh Elizabeth, how would these people see all the things wideglide mentioned if we have huge lights all over again and people everywhere ,then there is no wildlife or beauty to be seen except smog and trafic..

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