Welp, it’s been a long journey, but Woodstock 50 has been officially cancelled, Variety reports and the festival confirms.
“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,” the festival co-founder Michael Lang said in a press statement. He continued:
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 HeadCount to do a smaller event at the Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change. We released all the talent so any involvement on their part would be voluntary. Due to conflicting radius issues in the DC area many acts were unable to participate and others passed for their own reasons. I would like to encourage artists and agents, who all have been fully paid, to donate 10% of their fees to HeadCount or causes of their choice in the spirit of peace. Woodstock remains committed to social change and will continue to be active in support of HeadCount’s critical mission to get out the vote before the next election. We thank the artists, fans and partners who stood by us even in the face of adversity. My thoughts turn to Bethel and its celebration of our 50th Anniversary to reinforce the values of compassion, human dignity, and the beauty of our differences embraced by Woodstock.
The festival had been scheduled for 8/16-18.
The first rumblings of a festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the most famous festival happened back in 2016, and it was formally announced at the beginning of this year. The lineup was revealed in March, and it’s all been downhill from there! Financial backers jumped ship, permits were denied (again and again), all while tickets never even went on sale.
Last week, it seemed like there might be a wild shot of it actually happening. There were reports of Woodstock 50 relocating to the Maryland venue Merriweather Post Pavilion, but artists began to pull out and the festival released them from their contracts. There were rumblings of the festival being completely free, scaled down to a one-day event on 8/16 or 8/18 because Smashing Pumpkins and Noel Gallagher have a show at MPP on 8/17. But it was all for naught.
Farewell, Woodstock 50 — it was fun while it lasted.
UPDATE: Lang tells Rolling Stone he’s looking to do a concert at Merriwether — a fundraiser for HeadCount — sometime in the next couple of months.