Old Bethpage Restoration Village is known for being a time capsule, so it’s fitting that it recently served as host to the seventh annual Woodstock Revival concert. Rich Rivkin, the man behind the rocking event, thought that the area could use an experience like this when initially conceptualizing the idea.
“It seemed like the obvious thing that Long Island needed,” said Rivkin. “The Long Island live music appreciation community seems to have such a love for classic rock, as I do myself. I was too young to attend the original Woodstock but I remember wishing that I was older because I really felt an attraction to it. And I think many people in my demographic feel the same.”
Rivkin, who works as an informant consultant in his regular job, has been putting on music festivals for almost 20 years, combining both live music and painting to give people who share a common interest a great experience and a sense of community. Other festivals he has put on include Grateful Fest and Live Art Fusion. As for Woodstock Revival, the first festival was held back in 2013 at Sands Point, and it has moved around a few times before landing at the restoration village in 2017.
“All the festivals I produce are an extension of what I have a personal passion for,” said Rivkin. “This is not my livelihood, but I am a musician and I have a passion for organizing. What motivates me most in life is live music, so to be able to create this experience that is so meaningful for me personally raises my joy exponentially.”
Rivkin said the reason why the festival has stuck at Old Bethpage is because the layout is perfect. The stage was set up in front of a huge barn that’s on the property. Old wooden fences surround the event area that also had facepainting and more than 40 different vendors. There was also an artist village that showcased about 16 artists that were set up in rows under canopies. Some even did live painting for those who would pass by to watch.
What also made this year’s concert so exciting is that Woodstock’s 50th anniversary is around the corner. For the event, Rivkin knew they had to go big, so they increased the amount of acts playing (from five to 11) in addition to holding the concert on two days instead of one.
“This is my first festival ever that has expanded to two days,” said Rivkin. “We thought it would be a good idea to commemorate the 50th and, moving forward, we’ll probably be keeping it at two days.”
On Saturday, Jellyband, Kerry Kearny Band, Uppercut, Milagro, Four Way Street and Half Step performed a variety of songs from Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Grateful Dead and more. On Sunday, the Janis Joplin Experience, Dave Diamond & Friends, Wonderous Stories, Legendary Murphys and The Electrix capped the weekend off with hits from Janis Joplin, The Who and more.
“The vibe is truly unique,” said Rivkin. “There’s a lot of great festivals on the island, but the feel at my festivals are a lot different. It’s more of a family and community vibe. I’m honored to be the one to provide all of this for people.”
For more information on Rivkin and the events he puts on, visit www.limusicfestivals.com.