Shortly after 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 15th 1969, Richie Havens opened the Woodstock Music & Art Fair held on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York.

Almost to the day forty-four years later, the ashes of Richie Havens will be scattered across the field where the historic festival took place.

On Sunday, August 18th, a Day of Song and Remembrance Honoring Richie Havens will take place. Free and open to the public, numerous guest speakers, musicians, and fans will pay tribute to the soulful Havens who died from a heart attack on April 22nd of this year at the age of 72.

Guest speakers and musical appearances include Danny Glover, Louis Gossett Jr, Woodstock Festival organizers Michael Lang and Joel Rosenman, musicians Jose Feliciano, John Hammond, and more.

While tickets to the seated performance area are no longer available, those wishing to remember Havens are still welcome to attend.

A spokesperson for Richie’s family says, “Richie used to say a day never went by that he wasn’t asked about Woodstock, and he certainly understood its profound and indelible cultural impact. As he said on the festival’s 40th anniversary, ‘Woodstock was both a peaceful protest and a global celebration. We came together communally to be heard and to be acknowledged.’ Regarding the decision to invite the public on August 18th, there is really no question it’s what Richie would’ve wanted. His family understands and respects that he is very much beloved and missed by many.“

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– Carl Harp / 98.5 WNCX


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