The immersive tour gives guests the chance to experience the history of the festival first-hand.
The Museum at Bethel Woods, located at the National Register historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, today announced a new augmented reality tour, Meet Me at Woodstock. The immersive tour gives guests the chance to experience the history of the festival first-hand as they listen to stories of those who were there, visualize the iconic stage, hear concert recordings and authentic announcements, and survey the grounds as a member of the 450,000 person crowd.
The tour is hosted on a tablet and led by the voices of Nick and Bobbi Ercoline – the couple featured on the cover of the Woodstock album who are also volunteers at Bethel Woods. Guests will walk the field that hosted the concert in 1969 to see a full-scale 3D model of the stage sitting where it was over 50 years ago. The tour is available for an additional $5.00 on top of a museum ticket, or an $8.00 standalone rental fee during museum hours. Each until will be sanitized in between uses.
Tour developer Antenna International designed a fully-immersive augmented reality experience to “reveal” hidden stories around the site. Antenna is known as one of the top digital tour developers in the world. Among their projects are the digital tours of the Vatican, the Louvre, MoMA, and many U.S. National Parks. Antenna collaborated with Earprint Immersive to create the three-dimensional soundscape for the tour.
“We’re thrilled to have been a part of this site tour,” said Mary Kostell, Regional Client Manager of Antenna International. “It’s not just because it’s a top-of-the-line cool project, but because Woodstock was such an iconic American moment. We wanted to share that across generations.”
“We went through almost 1,000 hours of oral histories, interviews, stage announcements, videos, home movies, photographs, and personal testimonials to create a walking time-travel experience. The guide is a portal that sends people straight into the wonder of being on that field in 1969,” says Christine Murray, writer and Creative Director of the project.
“For years our visitors have been asking where the stage was and for a better understanding of what things looked like in 1969. We took this as an opportunity to give them that and so much more,” said Eric Frances, Chief Executive Officer of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. “Anyone can look up the performers and history of Woodstock, but only through this tour are you able to stand in the shoes of attendees who made the festival so magical,” Frances added.
American Express, the major funder of the tour, is a leading corporation in philanthropy pertaining to the preservation of history and historic sites around the globe. “We’re proud to sponsor the innovative approach to the re-creation of such a monumental event in history,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. “Because of this technology, visitors will get to experience Woodstock as if they were present 51 years ago.”
Additional major funding for the tour has come from Empire State Development (ESD) through the office of New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.
“I am so happy to have been able to work with Bethel Woods Center for the Arts to make this project a reality. Supporting arts and culture in my district is always important to me. When I learned about this plan to help bring to life one of the most important cultural events in the history of the State of New York, I knew I wanted to be involved,” Assemblywoman Gunther said.
In addition to arranging for an ESD grant, Assemblywoman Gunther and some members of her staff assisted the project by trying out an early version of the cutting-edge technology on the historic site. “Testing out this new technology has been absolutely incredible and I look forward to all of the visitors to Bethel Woods being able to enjoy this augmented reality experience like I did,” she said.
The Museum at Bethel Woods is open from 10AM-5PM, seven days a week. The safety of staff and guests remains a top priority for the Center and stringent protocols have been put into place in accordance with CDC guidelines. Masks are required for all guests within the building and some interactives and exhibits have been modified. For more information about Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, visit www.BethelWoodsCenter.org.