'It's an honor' to be on Bethel Woods bill with Ringo Starr, Kingston-area musician says

Daily Freeman-1 year before

Hope and the Arktones will be on the same daylong bill as Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and Woodstock festival veterans Arlo Guthrie and Edgar Winter at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Sullivan County.

The show, starting at 2 p.m., is one of three being held at Bethel Woods the weekend of Aug. 16-18 to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock festival, which was held on the property where Bethel Woods is located.

The Aug. 17 and 18 headliners at Bethel Woods will be Woodstock veterans Carlos Santana and John Fogerty, respectively.

Hope's group is schedul...d to perform from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 16 on Bethel Woods' Alfalfa Stage. The headline acts each night will be in the center's main amphitheater.

"I can't say we're opening for Ringo Starr, but it's an honor to play the same event as him," Hope said. "You can't get bigger than playing with a Beatle."

Hope said she and the Arktones sometimes get to mingle with other artists in the hospitality tent at multi-act shows. But she has no idea whether she'll gets the chance to meet Starr at Bethel.

The anniversary weekend concerts at Bethel Woods are part of the center's "Season of Song & Celebration.” (The name is a nod to the lyric "And everywhere was a song and a celebration," from the Joni Mitchell song "Woodstock.") Bethel Woods originally planned a more expansive Woodstock anniversary celebration but scaled it back as the official Woodstock 50 festival in Watkins Glen, N.Y., took shape. Now, though, the events at Bethel will be the only 50-year markers because Woodstock 50 was canceled Tuesday after months of financial problems, permit rejections and failed attempted moves to different venues.

Hope said she had never been to Bethel Woods until performing there this past June as part of the Mountain Jam festival, which used to be at Hunter Mountain in Greene County.

She also said she hasn't decided yet what songs to play at Bethel but that a tribute to Woodstock-era music is possible.

"I think everyone knows about Woodstock," Hope said. "Woodstock represented a lot to so many people; it was a milestone for rock 'n' roll and spoke for a whole generation."

The 1969 festival, in large part a repudiation of the Vietnam War, drew an estimated 400,000 people to see such big-name acts of that period as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

"When you say 'Woodstock,' everyone is interested," she said. "It's such a worldwide phenomenon."

Of the Bethel site, Hope said: "I think the grounds there are kind of sacred — if this lawn could talk. Being in this place where all these memories were made is going to be pretty magical."

For tickets and more information, go to bethelwoodscenter.org/events/concerts.

bethelwoodscenter.org/events/concerts Editor's note: This story was amended at 10:25 a.m. on Aug. 5 to correct the time of the concerts. The music on the Alfalfa Stage starts at 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday; the music on the Terrace Stage starts at 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The parking lots and museum open at noon each day.

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