CLARIFICATION: Woodstock In Sullivan County Is NOT Cancelled – Catskills Hatzolah Releases Statement


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There is some confusion regarding the upcoming Woodstock Festival, and YWN reports about a possible traffic nightmare.

YWN has received more than a hundred emails informing us that “Woodstock has been cancelled, and there will be no traffic heading to the Catskills this weekend. To explain to our readers what the confusion is about, YWN has compiled the following:

The event was originally supposed to be held at Watkins Glen International racetrack in Watkins Glen, New York August 16 – 18. Issues with the event’s chief investor, Dentsu Aegis Network led to an announcement from the firm in April that Woodstock 50 was canceled. Subsequent attempts to host the festival at Vernon Downs and Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, failed.

The event in Sullivan County is on schedule, and will take place. There will be four consecutive nights of events, beginning Thursday, at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which sits on the original festival site.

Officials are expecting upwards of 100,000 visitors to Bethel for the weekend.

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As you may be aware, the upcoming Shabbos Nachamu/Visiting Sunday weekend in the Catskills is expected to bring an influx of visitors and traffic to the Catskills region. Additionally, the County has a few large events planned – including the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock – all of which are expected to contribute to the increase of traffic in the area, especially on Route 17 (from the Harriman Toll Plaza until Exit 104) and Route 17B in Monticello and White Lake.

The State Police have warned of the potential for significant traffic delays on Friday. As such, we strongly encourage you to travel to the Catskills on Thursday. If you must travel to the Catskills on Friday, we implore you to arrive in the morning.

If you find yourself on Route 17 close to Shabbos, and you won’t arrive in the Catskills before Shabbos, Catskills Hatzalah has made arrangements in Kiryas Yoel as well as in Bloomingburg (Exit 116).

Kiryas Yoel: Chaveirim 845-782-3111
Bloomingburg (Exit 116): 718-928-5667.

For those in the White Lake and Kauneonga Lake area: We strongly encourage you to do all of your shopping by Thursday evening, as there may be intermittent road closures in those areas. The State Police have also warned that parking will not be permitted on all roads in the Town of Bethel (including White Lake, Kauneonga Lake, and part of Swan Lake) for the duration of the weekend. All cars that are parked on the road (including on the shoulder) will be towed immediately. The town has contracted with numerous tow companies to ensure that the roads remain unimpeded.

Catskills Hatzalah will be in constant contact with the County Officials throughout the weekend and will have additional ambulances and other resources strategically placed throughout the region to ensure a quick response to all medical emergencies.

We wish you and your family a safe and peaceful Shabbos Nachamu in the Catskills.

The New York State Police is expecting unusually long traffic delays in Sullivan County coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival at Bethel Woods. Traffic will heavy on Rt-17 and Rt-17b beginning Thursday August 15 through Sunday August 18.

Traffic is expected to be particularly heavy on ST-17 westbound between the New York State Thruway tolls in Harriman and exit 104 onto ST-17b in Monticello. Peak traffic for westbound lanes is anticipated between the hours of 1:00pm and 7:00pm and eastbound between the hours of 11:00pm and 2:00am. Motorists are encouraged to make alternate travel plans and avoid unnecessary travel during these hours on all four days of this anniversary concert weekend.

Additionally, heavy traffic at ST-17 exit 104 westbound may necessitate detours being put into place and motorists should be aware of alternate routes to camps and plan for these detours and heavy traffic accordingly.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. CT: Arlo is hosting a screening of the original movie tonight.

    Tomorrow is Ringo’s All Star Band with Edgar winter, and Blood Sweat and Tears .(FWIW BST has been playing the fair circuit and they’re bad, bad as in not good. Ringo’s All Stars are just great every time I’ve seen them.)

    Saturday is Santana with the Doobie bros. This should be a great show.

    Sunday is John Fogarty with The Tedeschi Trucks band and Grace Potter. A sleeper of a show. Fogarty can’t keep a band member for an entire tour.

  2. Dear rebmoish
    Alternate routes? Stay on the thruway. Do not get off at the harriman exit onto route 17, just continue on the thruway north towards albany until exit 18. Get off by the Poughkipsee exit 18, and just head all the way west. You will pass New Paltz, Kerhonkson, Ellenville, and will evenyually arrive into woodbourne. Enjoy the trip.

  3. Reports from 17B indicate that there is no traffic. As one observer commented it’s almost as bad as Di Blasio’s blizzard warnings this past winter.