The proposed Woodstock 50 festival in Watkins Glen, New York, slated to mark the 50th anniversary of the legendary music festival that first took place in 1969, has been canceled. According to Billboard, the festival was canceled due to concerns about the capacity of the festival, permit issues and site readiness.
On Monday (April 29th), Dentsu, one of the festival’s main investors, announced that the show, organized in part by Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, would not proceed. Dentsu said in a statement, "Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees. As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplify Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival."
Meanwhile, a representative for the festival issued a statement to the Poughkeepsie Journal saying, "Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival's cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought." Michael Lang's publicist told Billboard, "We do not have a statement and are awaiting further advice."
The lineup, announced last month, had included The Killers, The Lumineers, The Raconteurs, Robert Plant, Greta Van Fleet, Portugal. The Man, Imagine Dragons, Cage The Elephant, Miley Cyrus, Halsey, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monae, Vince Staples and many others, although the Black Keys pulled out of the event after being part of the initial bill.
Veterans of the 1969 event who were confirmed to perform included John Fogerty, Santana, Dead & Company, David Crosby & Friends, John Sebastian, Melanie, Canned Heat, Country Joe McDonald and Hot Tuna.
Tickets for the three-day event were supposed to go on sale April 22nd, but the sale was delayed, prompting rumors that the three-day event -- set to take place from August 16th through the 18th, the exact 50th anniversary of the original culture-defining event -- was in trouble.
According to Billboard, $30 million had already been spent on securing talent for the festival, and organizers allegedly sought another $20 million to keep it afloat last week. Experienced concert organizers were also approached about helping to salvage the show, although two of the biggest -- AEG and Live Nation -- reportedly both passed.