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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Rock Hall Receives a Chunk of the Original Woodstock Stage During Donation Ceremony

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2020 at 11:05 AM

click to enlarge JEFF NIESEL
  • Jeff Niesel
Earlier today, the Rock Hall held a press conference with Steve Gold, a Woodstock attendee and the owner of the iconic festival’s original stage, for a special artifact presentation and donation.

The Rock Hall’s Woodstock at 50 exhibit will close in a month, and the chunk of the plywood stage that Gold has donated is now part of the exhibit and part of the Rock Hall's permanent collection.

Rock Hall CEO and President Greg Harris opened the donation ceremony by talking about Woodstock’s significance.

“It is one of the most important moments in the history of our entire nation,” he said of the festival. “Hundreds of thousands of young people go to a farm in upstate New York to be together to think about what the world could be. These festivals are important moments, and Woodstock is that shot heard around the world that launched a movement.”

The Rock Hall’s Director of Curatorial Affairs Nwaka Onwusa then described the piece of the stage that now hangs on the wall as an “amazing highlight” and said she was thrilled to add to the “powerful and phenomenal exhibit.”

“We’re honored to have this amazing piece of history as part of our permanent collection,” she said.

Gold, who grew up in upstate New York near the festival’s site, spoke about promoting his first concert with Vanilla Fudge and Blood, Sweat and Tears when he was only 13. He also told the story about how the father of his then-girlfriend had bought the plywood panels of the stage and used them to build a paddleball court.

In 2017, Gold acquired the panels. Since he had already been awarded the merchandising rights to sell memorabilia from the original event, he started Peace of Stage, a website where fans can purchase pieces of the original stage that have been repurposed as necklaces and other collectables.

“Being there at Woodstock and seeing the performances was like seeing history being made,” said Gold, who added that he really wanted to see the Who, a band he had previously booked for a mere $3,000 for two shows. “To be able to see all these acts during those four days — and I was there for Jimi Hendrix’s performance on Monday — was pretty amazing. To have this piece in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and be part of that history is a historic moment for [me].”

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