WOODSTOCK, Ala. (WIAT) — Since 1969, Woodstock has been seen as a gold standard for music festivals. The three-day music and arts extravaganza brought more than 400,000 to a farm near Bethel, New York. However, Alabama has a Woodstock all its own, and this year, they’re holding a music festival all their own.
Alabama has a Woodstock all its own, and this year, they’re holding a music festival all their own.
“There’s so much musical talent in this town, and then the town’s name is Woodstock. I mean, it was a given,” said Jeff Dodson, the town’s mayor.
Woodstock, Alabama got its own burst of fame earlier this year with the release of the hit podcast “S-Town,” which was set in Woodstock and featured many of its residents as main characters. Dodson says now that the world’s been introduced to the town, it’s a good year to hold their first music festival.
“I mean, there’s a very good possibility you can meet some of the characters from the podcast. I mean, they live here,” Dodson said. “I’m sure they’re going to be here. I know one that’s going to be here. Maybe two. It’d be a good opportunity to meet them and ask questions.”
One of the main goals of the festival is to highlight local artists and acts. There are nine bands in the lineup so far, including Exit 97, a band named for the exit that will lead you to Woodstock.
“There’s a lot of musicians here,” said Kevin Gamble with Exit 97. “I’d love to get them together just one time. Everybody together, just one time. We could put on a show. I really think we could.”
Town leaders think so, too. They’re planning the Woodstock Music Festival for Saturday, September 23rd, from noon until 10 p.m. They’re planning a day full of music and family activities, and they’ve already signed on multiple food vendors who will set up along the track.
This year, the festival will happen right next to Woodstock Town Hall, at the walking track. Dodson hopes at least 2,000 people will come, enough to pack out the track.
There’s another big goal to the festival. Admission will be free to everyone, but the town is taking donations that will go toward building a new senior center. Currently, the town’s seniors share their space with the court, and the new construction across from town hall will give them a space of their own. Donations will also support Woodstock’s meals on wheels program, which delivers meals to the elderly and homebound.
They’ve still got a few weeks to iron out the details, but Dodson says this is a dream people in town have had for years, and it’s exciting to finally make their own Woodstock Music Festival a reality.
“Listen, when the original Woodstock came out, it was three days of peace,” Dodson said. ” I’ll settle for just one of it.”
If you’re interested in making a donation or becoming a vendor at the festival, you can contact Woodstock Town Hall for more information.