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April 29, 2019

Woodstock 50 Is Cancelled, Investors Say

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Officials from Dentsu Aegis Network, one of the festival’s main investors, announced Monday that Woodstock 50, which was set to take place in August, has been cancelled. The festival was slated to be hosted in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

In an interview with The New York Times, Woodstock founder Michael Lang said that Dentsu does “not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival.”

Further, a Woodstock 50 representative told Vulture Monday afternoon that “Woodstock 50 is currently on a call with Dentsu and Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the cancellation of the festival and will be seeking legal remedy to the comments.”

However, according to a Billboard article published Monday, “reps for the festival say concerns about the capacity of the festival, site readiness and permitting issues led to the cancellation of the commemorative event.”

Woodstock 50 was originally announced in January as a 50th anniversary festival to honor Woodstock ’69. Woodstock 50 was set to be held at the Watkins Glen Speedway from August 16 through August 18. The original festival had 400,000 attendees.

Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper and The Killers were among the artists set to perform at the commemorative festival. Santana, who performed at Woodstock ’69, was also booked on the festival ticket.

Prior to the cancellation, The Black Keys, one of the festival headliners, had backed out due to scheduling conflicts. Ticket sales had also already been postponed on April 19 from the original launch date of April 22.

In a press conference Monday, Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn discussed how the cancellation took everyone by surprise: “at this point, unless we hear otherwise, our assumption is the event has been cancelled … we certainly share in their disappointment.” O’Hearn also commented on how the loss of the festival will prove to be an large missed economic opportunity.

According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, “on April 21, O’Hearn said the state Department of Health was reviewing Woodstock 50’s permit application, which he said was submitted April 15 … that permit application was still pending on Friday, April 26.”

Dentsu and Woodstock 50 have not returned The Sun’s request for comment on the festival’s cancellation.

Peter Buonanno is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at arts@cornellsun.com.