Saratoga and coffee... Must be a thing...
Oh, you had me several years ago When I was still naive Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair And that you would never leave But you gave away the things you loved And one of them was me I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee Clouds in my coffee, and
You're so vain You probably think this song is about you You're so vain, you're so vain I'll bet you think this song is about you Don't you? Don't you?
Well I hear you went to Saratoga And your horse, naturally, won Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia To see the total eclipse of the sun
n early February 1961, Albany newspaperman Duane La Fleche noted a wire service report about a group hoping to entice the New York Philharmonic to make Stowe, Vermont its summer residence. La Fleche proposed that the group stay in New York State and perform in Saratoga Springs. Local civic, cultural, and legislative leaders, who had previously considered a Saratoga Arts Center an interesting possibility, began to design the facility. Within a week, they held their first meeting; within a month they were focusing on Saratoga Spa State Park as the site, had won the support of State Conservation Commissioner Harold Wilm, and began discussions with both the New York Philharmonic and New York City Ballet.
By summer 1963, contributions from Rockefeller Brothers Fund and New York State supplemented community support to create Saratoga Performing Arts Center. In June 1964, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller mounted a bulldozer to break the first yard of ground. More than 410 workdays followed: 300 workers clocked 136,000 hours to complete the 5,103-seat, 10-story amphitheater (original layout of the venue did not include a festival lawn; the lawn, which holds 20,000, was added later).
Harry Belafonte was the first non-classical performer to perform at SPAC, in 1967. Then on September 1, 1968 The Doors gave a performance at SPAC, which began a tradition of bringing top pop and rock acts to the amphitheater including Jackson Browne (who recorded "Rosie" backstage in 1977), Whitney Houston (who filmed her televised MTV VMA performance of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", as well as the official music video for "Didn't We Almost Have It All" on stage in 1987). The Pretenders, Santana, Tina Turner, Guns N' Roses, Coldplay, Aretha Franklin, O.A.R., Rush, Demi Lovato, KISS, Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, blink-182, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Aerosmith, Toby Keith, Train, Maroon 5, Britney Spears, Ray LaMontagne, Prince, Missy Elliott, Pearl Jam, Jay-Z, Phish, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Avril Lavigne, John Mayer, Nicki Minaj, Sheryl Crow, 50 Cent, Paul Simon, Selena Gomez, Tom Petty, Drake, The Cars, Snoop Dogg, The B-52's, Def Leppard, The Black Eyed Peas, Ray Charles, Dire Straits, Christina Aguilera, The Beach Boys, 5 Seconds of Summer, Foreigner, Heart, Alter Bridge, Journey, Wiz Khalifa, John Mellencamp, Elton John, Justin Bieber, Janet Jackson, and The Grateful Dead (1983 being considered one of their classics).
Farm Aid was held here in 2013. Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson headlined.
Past presidents of SPAC include Margaretta "Happy" Rockefeller and Lillian Bostwick Phipps. Currently, the President of the non-profit corporation also acts as the executive director.
Our 78th season of Live Racing kicks-off this month! Still known to many as the Saratoga Harness track, today people can view live races outside at the rail, in the lower clubhouse, in the Grandstand or while dining at Lucky Joe’s. In addition, our guests can watch and wager on live racing in New York or from tracks around the country, year-round, on one of the many TV’s located in our Mezzanine.