New Roof Protects the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Woodstock Music and Art Fair, commonly referred to as Woodstock, was a music festival held August 15–18, 1969, on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Billed as “Three Days of Peace & Music” and alternatively referred to as the Woodstock Rock Festival, it attracted an audience of more than 400,000 attendees.Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain. It was one of the largest music festivals held in history. The event has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as a defining event for the counterculture generation. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed it as number 19 of the “50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.” In 2017, the festival site became listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has a long history, beginning with Alan Gerry, a born-and-raised resident of Liberty, New York. In the 1990s Gerry was passionate about improving the quality of life in his beloved hometown, so he founded the Gerry Foundation with future plans of creating an arts center. In 1998 after acquiring the land where the original Woodstock Music & Arts Fair took place, the Gerry Foundation produced the “Day in the Garden” music festival, reawakening the potential of the long dormant site. In 2002, plans to design a world class performing art center were underway, and in 2006 the $150 million, multi-venue project opened for its inaugural season. Today, The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts offers yearlong programming in fulfillment of their mission to inspire, educate and empower individuals through the arts and humanities.

A New Roof

In 2020, the roof on the music pavilion that seats 16,000 began to fail. A freak hailstorm that plagued the northeast that year caused severe damage and was determined the major cause for roof failure. In 2021, CFE, Inc. received a call asking for some professional assistance on the failing roof and to make recommendations for a new roof system. “I was excited to visit and meet the owner’s representative because I was a huge Woodstock fan,” says Bob Pringle, vice president of Evans Roofing Company, the parent company of CFE, Inc. “I was too young when Woodstock took place but read multiple articles and saw movies on the iconic event. When you pull up to the museum building it hits you — you are on sacred ground.”

“I jumped at the chance to visit the original Woodstock venue,” says Justin Luckner, Northeast business development for Evans Roofing Company. “It was before my time, but visiting was always a bucket list item. Being on the contractor side and getting to see the behind-the-scenes stuff was just a bonus.”

The 800-acre property is well maintained, surrounded by rolling hills and trees. “I met with Don Pizza, a super nice guy who showed me around the property and onto the roof areas,” Luckner notes. “We would soon find out Don is a ‘the guy’ who makes things happen and after the contract was awarded, he would be our main contact for this project.”

The large pavilion roof had a 2:12 slope to the back wall where several internal drains and overflow drains removed the water from the roof area. The existing gray single-ply membrane was badly damaged by hail and in dire need for replacement.

Don Pizza and his team already had a specified roof assembly and scope of work consisting of removing the existing single-ply membrane, leaving the existing ISO, adding additional insulation and installing a 90-mil EPDM membrane offering the owner a 30 year warranty.

There was an additional smaller high roof and an additional lower office roof, so the total square footage of this project was 49,600. Additional work included removing existing limestone parapet wall caps and replacing them with metal, installing counterflashing below the existing copper wall details, and adding new gutters and downspouts.

The schedule was subject to one “high priority” stipulation: the project could not affect concert goers. “During the concert season there are two to three concerts a week,” Pringle says. “We had to make sure prior to any days a concert was scheduled we could not work, and more importantly, no sign of a roofing project could be seen by the patrons attending the concerts.”

“Other challenges we were facing included material shortages and truck delivery upcharges,” notes Pringle. “Collectively, we worked with our suppliers procuring the materials to start this project on time. The 2022 summer weather was on our side, which greatly helped our efforts in keeping this project on target for completion.”

CFE, Inc. installed Carlisle 90-mil EPDM with an ISO cover board, shop fabricated the counterflashing and parapet caps, and re-flashed eight existing skylights. Walk pads were added for safe travel.

“CFE, Inc. Endicott division was grateful to be selected as the roofing company for this project,” Pringle concludes. “The project was completed in late fall 2022. Many thanks to the Gerry Foundation and Don Pizza for the trust in CFE, Inc. Installing the new roofs at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts was a complete honor.”


Roofing Contractor: CFE, Inc., Elmira, New York,


Membrane: 90-mil EPDM, Carlisle SynTec,