Locals brace for Hudson Project music fest

Locals are gearing up for traffic, crowds and delays this weekend as the Hudson Project, a new music and arts festival in the tradition of Woodstock, kicks off in Saugerties.  

Legions of hippies and hipsters — an estimated 20,000 a day — will flood 800-acre Winston Farm for the three-day festival, according to a report in the Kingston Daily Freeman.  The farm previously played host to 1994’s reprisal of the famed Woodstock festival, and was the intended site for the original 1969 event before it relocated to Bethel.  

At the helm of Hudson Project is original Woodstock festival co-founder Michael Lang, who told the New York Times that the Project is his attempt at bringing a successful recurring festival to the area. 

As a new festival, Hudson Project has gained attention for its diverse lineup of big-name artists in the electronic, hip hop and rock scenes — with headliners like Kendrick Lamar, Modest Mouse and the Flaming Lips. 

The Times also reported that organizers are on track to sell out the 20,000 capacity of the festival space. 

With tens of thousands of concertgoers streaming into little, laid-back Saugerties, traffic is sure to be an issue during the festival. This week, state police issued a statement directing fest-goers to use one of two routes to Winston Farm:

-From the south, concertgoers should take I-87 to exit 19 (Kingston), then follow Route 28 west to Route 375 to Route 212 east.

-From the north, concertgoers should take I-87 to exit 21 (Catskill/Cairo), then follow Route 23A to Route 32 south.

Delays and congestion are likely to crop up on roads around the concert site and the village of Saugerties, police said. Local officials and show organizers are encouraging carpooling, group shuttles and public transportation to relieve traffic around the concert site.

Exit 20 off I-87, which is directly across from Winston Farm, will be closed to festival-goers but open to other traffic, a festival promoter told the Freeman.

Police are encouraging residents not planning to attend the concerts to use different routes while traveling through weekend traffic. The thruway Exit 20, right across from Winston Farm will be closed to festival-goers but open to all other drivers. 

Festival organizers will be running free shuttle buses to downtown Saugerties and Woodstock for fest-goers who want to check out the local community, a step taken to appeal to the local business community. Jonathan Fordin, president of festival co-producer MCP Presents, told the Times that the Hudson Project's organizers are hoping to deliver more for the local community than Woodstock '94 did:

“One thing we heard was that during Woodstock ’94, the communities were a ghost town,” Mr. Fordin said. “Everyone was at the festival. There were definitely some people who said: ‘This isn’t going to be good for the community. We’re not going to see the economic impact.’ “