Articles From the September 1994 Unification News


Woodstock '94 Comes to Barrytown

by Kerry Williams

Yes, the rumors were true-on Aug. 13 and 14, 1994, UTS served as an "Artist Staging Area" to a number of artists en route to the Woodstock Festival in Saugerties, NY. After numerous visits by key promoters of the concert, including chief organizer Michael Lang, the Seminary was chosen from among several sites considered in the Barrytown vicinity. Performing artists came to the Seminary through the east gate in their buses and limousines. They stayed in an outdoor hospitality tent erected on the soccer field where they enjoyed snacks and drinks until it was time for them to be shuttled down to the helipad or Barrytown Boat Club. They were then either flown by helicopter or driven by boat to Saugerties. This intermediary mode of transportation was set up to ensure the smooth passageway of artists who were arriving the same time as thousands of attending fans.

The performers who passed through Barrytown were: Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Arrested Development, Blind Melon, Jimmy CLiff's All- Star Reggae Jam, Joe Cocker, the Cranberries, Cypress Hill, Melissa Etheridge, Green Day, Youssou N'Dour, the Neville Brothers, and Rollins Band. Friends, family members and business associates of the performers also came through. I was able to participate as a driver, shuttling performers and their entourages from the soccer field to the boat dock or helipad built on UTS property. It was quite an experience! Many of the performers commented on the beautiful, peaceful surroundings, asking where they were, and opining that it looked just like heaven. Kirstie Alley, a guest of David Crosby, was one of the few celebrities who seemed to know where she was. "What a contrast," she remarked after returning from the concert late Saturday night, "to come from Woodstock back to the Unification Church seminary!"

Most of the performers were quite friendly-there was an upbeat mood as Woodstock Ventures and UTS staff worked together to make the experience an enjoyable one for our guests passing through. It was truly an unusual merging of worlds-it's not every day UTS security chief Doug Williams (who also happens to be my husband) makes idle conversation with Slash from Guns 'N Roses about the future of the music industry!

The UTS kitchen staff in particular did a great job keeping snacks and drinks available for the performers around the clock. Marie Wesaw, a member of the kitchen staff, got an unexpected taste of the musical creativity of reggae star Jimmy Cliff. Cliff had arrived and was seated on a bench, playing his congoes and singing for our enjoyment. As Marie came out with fresh fruit, he remarked on her lovely smile and began making up a song about bananas!

Overall, everything went very well at Barrytown-a promoter from Woodstock Ventures commented that of all operations involved in putting on the concert at Saugerties, the transportation shuttle at Barrytown went the most smoothly.


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