The legacy of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival has lived on in the hearts and minds of attendees for the last 50 years. Now, it can live on in your living room — or even around your neck.
A Woodstock-loving fan who recently scooped up 3,000 square feet of the plywood stage where Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin rocked out is repurposing the wood into collectible items, like necklaces and framed blocks.
Steve Gold, who attended the iconic 1969 festival as a teenager, co-founded Peace of Stage as a means of helping share the memory of Woodstock in a uniquely tangible way.
Fans can buy a peace pendant necklace, which features a circular piece of wood set under a metal peace sign, for $99, or a sterling silver or gold-plated version for $369.
There’s also a 50th anniversary acrylic stage frame, which features a chunk of stage, for $99, and the Treehugger frame, which includes a piece of the stage next to one of four large photos from the festival, for $319.
There are smaller options, too, like Stardust for Peace, a small glass bottle filled with sawdust made from the flooring for $19.69. For every bottle sold, five charities will receive $3 dollars each.
Each item also comes with a Letter of Authenticity confirming that the plywood was, indeed, used as the stage for the three-day festival.
Gold was just 15 when he attended Woodstock in August 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm near White Lake in Bethel, New York.
Shortly after the festival, his girlfriend’s father, who lived locally, bought the plywood panels that had been the main stage, and used them to renovate and build a paddleball court.
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In 2017, Gold revisited the court and found that the wood was still intact. He bought the panels, authenticated them, and co-founded of Peace of Stage.
“There was still painting on the wood in certain places, and I knew they were markings,” he said. “I looked at concert pictures and said, ‘That’s where Richie Havens was playing!”
While most of the panels were used to make the collectibles, some were put on display at the Museum at Bethel Woods as part of an exhibit called We Are Golden: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Aspirations for a Peaceful Future.
“People have an intense emotional attachment to the festival, whether they were there or not,” Gold said in a statement. “The original stage is the only artifact that exists for people to touch and reflect upon. Its importance is beyond measure — it’s like the Holy Grail of rock music.”
The festival, which was initially billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music,” was a game-changing moment in the history of music, and included performances from artists like Hendrix, Joplin, Grateful Dead, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.