After months of speculation surrounding Woodstock 50, it has been officially announced that the festival will not be happening this summer.
Updated April 30: After the brief statement from Michael Lang yesterday surrounding the cancellation that the fight was going to continue, a full statement has been released today to double down on his claims. Read on for the latest in the story surrounding Woodstock 50 and stay tuned for more updates.
The road to the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock has been one full of twists and turns as the path that had laid ahead never truly felt secure. After the initial confusion surrounding the two separate celebrations of the festival’s anniversary, the release of a lineup that came off as lackluster to many, and the delay in both ticket sales and gaining proper permits, today it’s official: Woodstock 50 has been canceled.
Originally scheduled to take place on August 16-18 this year, the concerns about Woodstock 50 had been raised for months. Prior to the lineup reveal in March, the organizers of the festival had already failed to pay talent fees and the financial stability of the festival came into question. Then, headlining act The Black Keys pulled out citing a scheduling conflict, which was paired with a delay in ticket sales and the news that they had not secured permits as well.
Now, Dentsu Aegis Network, the festival’s main investor, has officially announced the cancellation of Woodstock 50, citing the permitting issues, concerns surrounding capacity of the festival, and readiness of the site. Per Billboard’s source, over $30 Million had already been spent on the festival and last week they had reached out to Live Nation and AEG to inquire about $20 Million more in funding which was declined.
In a statement released today to Billboard, officials with Dentsu Aegis Network said:
“It’s a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival. But 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.”
The statement goes on, “As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.”
If it couldn’t be any more certain, Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn confirmed to the Poughkeepsie Journal that the festival has indeed been canceled this morning as well. Michael Lang and the remaining Woodstock 50 organizers don’t seem to be on the same page with their investors, though. According to their statement, the festival organizers are claiming that the festival will still be moving forward: “Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival’s cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought”.
Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.