Woodstock 50 organisers announce cancellation of troubled festival

Woodstock 50 organisers announce cancellation of troubled festival

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Organisers of the troubled Woodstock 50 have announced that the festival has been cancelled.

The three-day festival was originally scheduled for August 16-18, but hold-ups included permit denials and the loss of a financial partner and a production company.

Last week Jay-Z, Dead & Company and John Fogerty announced that they would not perform at the event after organisers said it was moving to Maryland from New York.

Festival co-founder Michael Lang said: “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.

“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.”

Organisers said they were planning to make Woodstock 50 a free benefit concert at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, before announcing they had cancelled the festival altogether.

Lang announced the 50th anniversary event in March alongside Fogerty and rapper-actor Common, two acts that were slated to perform.

Other artists who were booked for the festival included The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, Chance the Rapper, Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters, David Crosby, Janelle Monae, Brandi Carlile and Halsey.

Miley Cyrus was booked to perform

Woodstock 50 was originally supposed to take place across three main stages at Watkins Glen International racetrack in Watkins Glen, New York, about 115 miles northwest of the original site, but the venue pulled out. Tickets were supposed to go on sale on April 22, which was Earth Day, but that was postponed.

Woodstock will still celebrate its anniversary: Ringo Starr, Santana and Fogerty will perform at Woodstock’s original site in Bethel, New York, in a smaller anniversary event at the Bethel Woods Centre for the Arts not connected to Woodstock 50.

The original Woodstock, a festival pushing the message of peace, love and music, was a seminal, groundbreaking event in 1969 that featured performances by Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Joan Baez, The Who and other iconic acts.

Lang is asking Woodstock 50 artists who were already paid to donate 10% of their earnings to HeadCount, a non-profit group that registers voters at music events, or to another organisation.

“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,” Lang said in his statement.

“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.”

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