The Colony in Woodstock Is Better Than Ever
Nearly 90 years after its debut, this venerable venue gets the revamp it deserves.
Photos by James Orr
Set back from Woodstock’s main street, the Colony is easy to miss, but hard to forget. Built in 1929 by the developer Morris Newgold, this three-story brick construction has been used as a restaurant, hotel, and concert hall, and was a popular live music venue for much of the early 2000s.
Artists Alexia and Neil Howard bought the property in 2015 and spent close to two years rehabbing and renovating the nearly 90-year-old structure, putting in new bathrooms, a modern kitchen, and a luxe all-wood bar. The space is both intimate and magisterial, with a great wood-beamed ceiling vaulting a broad, shallow stage where act and audience meet on near-level terrain. There is no better live room in this corner of the Hudson Valley.
Mike Campbell became the Colony’s talent buyer soon after its May 2017 opening, bringing skills he honed in the Brooklyn and Long Island indie scenes. Campbell tries to appeal to as many residents as he can, from “folks who moved to Woodstock when the festival happened and never left” to the many young, underground-inclined transplants settling in the Kingston area. “Both sets want something to do,” he said, “and I want to cater to everyone.”
There will be shows this fall from Luis Mojica and Fredo Viola with Mamalama (solo); So-Cal punks Joyce Manor; and a return of the Reverend Horton Heat. The venue also has extensive grounds that Campbell would like to use for large outdoor shows at some point in the future. He wants to draw as many bigger acts to Woodstock as he can. “When people see a band in a nice small room, that you’d normally see somewhere like Radio City Music Hall,” Campbell explained, “they walk away really charmed.”