Back in April, Woodstock 50 funders Dentsu Aegis Network announced that the festival was cancelled, following rumors of financial issues and a ticket sale delay. Dentsu had already spent over $30 million on the lineup, including headliners like the Killers and Miley Cyrus. Still, festival organizer Michal Lang insisted that Woodstock 50 must go on. Since then, the festival has lost two event producers and its venue. A new location at an upstate New York harness track and casino was proposed last month, but, as Variety reports, the permit has just been denied.
The promoters now have five days to appeal the decision, Oneida County Administrator Anthony Picente Jr. tells Variety. “What they have submitted to date has not met many of the requirements,” he says, adding that the chances of staging the festival in Oneida Country are “highly unlikely.”
Apparently, the site at Vernon Downs doesn’t have camping facilities. “It’s been chaotic…Originally it was going to be a three-day festival, but then [the producers] said instead it would be three one-day events, with all 65,000 or however many people vacating the grounds at the end of each day,” Picente says.
“We could have done this with a year or 16 months advance [planning], but to do it in three to six weeks is really a near impossibility from a public safety and health standpoint,” he continues. “As someone who as here for 1999 [Woodstock’s troubled 30th anniversary concert, which was marred by violence and fires], some names have changed but it’s largely the same situation.”
But Greg Peck, the president of Woodstock 50, remains hopeful. “We understand the public safety and traffic concerns of the local community. We have been working diligently over the last several weeks to secure the permits needed to hold the festival, and will continue to work with Law Enforcement and Public Safety Officials to present a cohesive safety and traffic plan that will be satisfactory in addressing the concerns,” Peck says in a statement. “We are confident that this careful planning and consideration of community concerns will result in a safe, world-class Festival.’’
Woodstock 50 is scheduled to take place in five weeks, 8/16-18. Tickets have yet to go on sale.