Woodstock 50 Has Been Canceled … Maybe
Less than two weeks after rumors suggested that the official Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration was in trouble, its investors have announced that the festival has been canceled, although Michael Lang, the co-founder of the original festival, has responded by issuing a denial.
Woodstock 50 was scheduled to take place Aug. 16-18 at Watkins Glen International Speedway in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
“It’s a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements," Dentsu Aegis Network said in a statement reprinted by Billboard. "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."
It concluded that "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.”
However, the Poughkeepsie Journal has reprinted a statement from Lang's side that reads, "Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival's cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought."
Rumors surfaced earlier this month that Woodstock 50 was struggling after ticket sales, which were supposed to start on April 22, were pulled with no further details provided as to when they would be offered. Lang called the news “just more rumors” and added that details for the "once-in-a-lifetime event" would be arriving soon.
A preliminary lineup, with the Black Keys and Robert Plant among the biggest rock acts, was announced last month. Lang had also secured the participation of Santana, John Fogerty, David Crosby and Dead & Company -- all of whom were at the original -- as well as Jay-Z, the Killers, Miley Cyrus, Chance the Rapper and Imagine Dragons.