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Arlo Guthrie sings at Woodstock site

By AAP Newswire

White-haired Woodstock veterans and pilgrims in tie-dye have converged at the site of the iconic concert to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Bethel Woods Centre for the Arts is hosting a series of events Thursday through Sunday at the bucolic 1969 concert site, in upstate New York.

Arlo Guthrie, an original Woodstock performer, played an evening set including the Bob Dylan classic 'The times they are a-changin'.

"It was a great time," Guthrie told reporters. "For me, the Woodstock festival was a celebratory end of an era. It was not the beginning of anything. It was the end of something, and it was an end of a very turbulent time that was also very wonderful."

An estimated 400,000 people showed up for the original festival which lasted from August 15-18, 1969.

"This is like a pilgrimage. Coming back to the holy land," said Glenn Radman, a 67-year-old New Milford, Connecticut, resident stopping by the monument with his friend.

75-year-old Roger Dennis was also making a return visit.

"I was here 50 years ago right on this day, and it was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. And I just had to be back here," Dennis said, standing by the monument.

Access to the field is usually open, but Bethel Woods is setting restrictions this weekend to avoid a repeat of the chaos that engulfed the site in 1969.

In contrast to the 1969 show, there were plenty of seats and well-stocked vendors selling food, wine and beer.