Elliot Tiber



Elliot Tiber was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. His family moved to White Lake in Bethel in 1955 where they acquired the El Monaco Motel at the corner of New York Route 17B and New York Route 55 on the southwest edge of White Lake. Tiber attended Brooklyn College where his instructors included Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt. He taught creative writing at New School University, fine art at Hunter College, and art design history at the New York Institute of Technology.

Tiber received a BFA from Hunter College and was in the MFA program at Pratt Institute. Tibor said he lead a closeted life in the early 1960s as he spent time managing his parents El Monaco Motel and being President of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce and then at the same time participating in the gay scene in New York.

Tibor in his memoir said that he was at the Stonewall Inn on the night of the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969.We barricaded the doors to keep the cops out, but when we realized that we outnumbered them, we unblocked the exits and ran out onto the street. A group of us started yelling, 'Gay power!' Within seconds, the Stonewall Riot was underway...A bunch of us rocked a cop car back and forth, then overturned it. More people, gay men and lesbians, showed up to join us. Less than three weeks after Stonewall, Tibor read that Wallkill, Orange County, New York on July 15, 1969 had pulled the plug on the planned Woodstock Festival at the Mills Industrial Park northeast of Middletown, New York.

Tibor had a permit for the White Lake Music and Arts Festival, a planned chamber music event at his motel. Tibor contacted Michael Lang and pitched the idea of having the festival on 15-acres on the edge of White Lake by the motel.

When Lang said the venue was too small, he introduced the producers to dairy farmer Max Yasgur. News of the festival was formally announced at the El Monaco and it became the headquarters for the event for the producers as well as some of the performers including Canned Heat and Arlo Guthrie. He sold the motel shortly after Woodstock and moved to Europe.

The motel was torn down in 2004 and is now marked by a clock tower welcoming people to White L His book in the 1970s Rue Haute was a best seller in Europe and made into a French movie directed by his domestic partner André Ernotte. It was France's entry for the 49th Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film in 1977. The book was released in English in the United States in 1977 under the name High Street.