The tenth annual Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration will convene at 8 o’clock (doors open at 7 p.m.) on Sunday, May 27, at the Bearsville Theater, 291 Tinker Street in Woodstock. The celebration of the Bard’s 77th year will benefit Family of Woodstock’s Hotline and the John Herald Fund.
This year’s concert is hosted by Happy Traum and will feature a fine contingent of celebrants including Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams; John Sebastian; Cindy Cashdollar; Scott Sherrard; Mike + Ruthy; Bill Sims; Rod MacDonald and Jay Collins. Backing them up is the always stellar house band featuring Connor Kennedy, Will Bryant, Lee Falco and Brandon Morrison.
Family of Woodstock began in 1970 with nine volunteers (including executive director Michael Berg) in a special committee called, “Soft Landing Machine.” At the time, the town had only two police officers and was unprepared for the influx of young people seeking the “Woodstock Nation” and perhaps a glimpse of one of their music idols….including Bob Dylan. Kids were sleeping on lawns, getting arrested and sent to jail. Family of Woodstock gave newcomers information on legal camping and access to doctors willing to treat them. They provided clothing, food and help finding a place to stay. Family’s crew of volunteers did their best to handle it all, adopting the motto “Any Problem Under the Sun.”
Forty-nine years later, Family of Woodstock has become a diverse network of interconnected services with one goal – helping people fix their lives and themselves. This includes emergency shelters, domestic violence programs, housing for teens and childcare resources in three counties, and hotline/walk-in centers, with counseling, food pantry, free store and volunteer training in each.
The John Herald Fund is a part of Family’s services, and provides help to musicians and artists who may need a bill paid, help with a medical expense or car repair, or any of the many needs that may befall them.
Family’s core service, the oldest continuously operating volunteer hotline in the nation, still has the same phone number (now with area code), 845-679-2485.
Tickets range from $25 to $100 and are available by calling 845-679-7600 or by hunting them down at bearsvilletheater.com.