While this news may NOT shock you, Woodstock 50 is officially off. According to Variety, the fifty year Anniversary celebration originally scheduled for August 16th-18th has been called off. Vendors and stakeholders were notified this morning (31st) as we’ve seen headliners drop like flies this week. Artists such as Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, the Raconteurs, the Lumineers, Santana, and Dead & Company have publicly expressed they will no longer perform at the three day concert. Earlier today, we noticed the lineup completely vanish from the website.
After a three-month roller coaster ride trying to keep the festival afloat, the battle has come to a close. Things were shaky once financial backer Dentsu Aegis pulled out back in April leading many assuming the event was cancelled. However, event organizers including co-founder Michael Lang were resilient doing everything they could to make the festival a go.
After losing the original location to Watkins Glen, going through three permit applications for Vernon Downs, to moving and downsizing the fest to Maryland and possibly making it a free event, the outlook wasn’t good. Luckily this didn’t turn into a Fyre fest and perhaps this means there’s a chance to rebuild for a 51st, 52nd, 53rd, etc. Anniversary
Variety reports the festival was tentatively going to be scaled down to a one-day show for a capacity at either 20,000 or 32,000, depending on the scheduled date.
Greg Peck, a principal of Woodstock 50 explained the following to TMZ:
“The unfortunate dispute with our financial partner and the resulting legal proceedings set us off course at a critical juncture, throwing a wrench in our plans and forcing us to find an alternate venue to Watkins Glen.”
The timing meant we had few choices where our artists would be able to perform. We worked hard to find a way to produce a proper tribute—and some great artists came aboard over the last week to support Woodstock 50—but time simply ran short.”
An official statement of the cancellation was made, which included a suggestion that the artists donate 10% of their fees to the charity HeadCount or causes of their own choice.
Michael Lang co-founder of Woodstock issued the following statement:
“We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the Festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating. When we lost the Glen and then Vernon Downs we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel. We formed a collaboration with HeadCount to do a smaller event at the Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change. We released all the talent so any involvement on their part would be voluntary. Due to conflicting radius issues in the DC area many acts were unable to participate and others passed for their own reasons. I would like to encourage artists and agents, who all have been fully paid, to donate 10% of their fees to HeadCount or causes of their choice in the spirit of peace. Woodstock remains committed to social change and will continue to be active in support of HeadCount’s critical mission to get out the vote before the next election. We thank the artists, fans and partners who stood by us even in the face of adversity. My thoughts turn to Bethel and its celebration of our 50th Anniversary to reinforce the values of compassion, human dignity, and the beauty of our differences embraced by Woodstock.”