Woodstock 50 has officially bit the dust.
Woodstock 50’s tumultuous months-long saga of logistical nightmares has come to an anticlimactic end with the event’s official cancellation, just weeks before it was set to take place. A series of major operational hurdles over the last few months proved to be too much for Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, most recently having to move the event to Maryland after losing two permits, as well as funding partners, in New York. Furthermore, in an attempt to salvage the event, all performing artists were released from their contracts, but asked to play at a now-free event.
Radius clauses and the remnant stench of the Fyre Festival fiasco started forcing artists to bail left and right, starting with JAY-Z and the Dead & Company. Lang is now turning his attention to supporting the competing Woodstock homage event which is taking place in Bethel, New York, near the original Woodstock site. In a statement, Lang expressed his disappointment,
“We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating. When we lost the Glen and then Vernon Downs we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel. We formed a collaboration with [voting encouragement organization] HeadCount to do a smaller event at [Columbia, Maryland’s] Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change.”
Since Woodstock 50’s lineup was paid for in advance, Lang is calling for the artists and agents to donate a portion of their fees to HeadCount. Woodstock 50 seemed doomed from the moment online ticket sales failed to launch. Now, with a disbanded lineup, no venue, or strong financial backing, Woodstock 50 is sadly over before it started.