Woodstock 50 festival canceled

Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration canceled after lineup issues, financial problems

Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration canceled after lineup issues, financial problems

"My thoughts turn to [original Woodstock site, Bethel, NY] and its celebration of our 50th Anniversary to reinforce the values of compassion, human dignity, and the beauty of our differences embraced by Woodstock".

However, headlines about the cancellation of Woodstock 50 first started circulating in April, when financial company Dentsu Aegis withdrew from the festival and announced its cancellation. 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. Organizers then attempted in vain to seek permits in Vernon, New York.

"While we were able to quickly eliminate the venue portion of the challenge to present Woodstock, it was just too late in the game", said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P., owner of the 9:30 Club and The Anthem and operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Lincoln Theatre.

The cancellation was widely expected after a troubled five months in which organizers were turned down at two proposed sites in upstate NY, lost funding and headliners including rapper Jay-Z and pop star Miley Cyrus pulled out. On July 26, the festival finally released all its booked artists from their contracts.

Woodstock 50 is officially off, multiple sources tell Variety. Woodstock 50 eventually lost Watkins Glen as its location, reportedly due to a missed $150,000 payment.

Issues disrupting potential plans at Merriweather Post Pavillion included security and getting artists to commit, on top of the fact that the venue already has a concert scheduled that weekend: August 17 with Smashing Pumpkins, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, and AFI.

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Tickets never went on sale for the festival. HeadCount is a non-partisan organization that works with musicians to help fans register to vote at concerts.

"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 a statement Wednesday.

Said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, "I share in the disappointment of everyone who hoped to celebrate the anniversary of "Peace & Music" with a festival this summer".

The nonprofit Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the current owner of the field where the 1969 Woodstock festival took place, also scaled back plans earlier this year for a three-day anniversary event.

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. Guthrie, Winter, Santana and Fogerty all performed at the original Woodstock festival.

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