Just days after Woodstock 50’s financial backer announced it was canceling the festival, the event's production partner, Superfly, has severed its ties with the show. The entertainment company, which co-produces the Bonnaroo and Outside Lands festivals, confirmed on Wednesday (May 1st) that it is no longer involved in the venture, dealing what is probably a catastrophic blow to the struggling event.
A spokesperson for Superfly said, “Throughout our engagement our team provided counsel and recommendation on the necessary elements required to produce a safe and first-class experience. Following the decision of one of our clients, Dentsu, to cancel the event, we will no longer be participating in ongoing related activities.”
A source told Rolling Stone, “With Superfly leaving the fold, that’s just the death knell. Any festivalgoer knows now that Superfly doesn’t have faith in it. I don’t know how you recover from that. It’s impossible.” In addition, multiple talent agencies told Billboard that the artists are no longer obligated to play, saying, “The artist contracts are with Dentsu, not with (Woodstock co-founder) Michael Lang or Woodstock 50.”
Woodstock 50 was slated to take place in Watkins Glen, New York on the weekend of August 16th through the 18th, with a bill featuring 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, as well as veterans of the 1969 event like John Fogerty, Santana, David Crosby & Friends, John Sebastian, Canned Heat, Country Joe McDonald and Hot Tuna.
The same source told Rolling Stone that the first signs of trouble were when the Black Keys dropped out of the show after being confirmed and when the ticket sale date was delayed.
Michael Lang has blasted Dentsu in a series of statements to the press, saying the company does not have the authority to cancel the show. He has vowed that the show will go on, telling the New York Times, “We’re committed. We were committed then, and we’re not stopping now.”