Woodstock 50 Officially Canceled
Woodstock 50 — a musical tribute festival planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock in Bethel, N.Y. — will not take happen in 2019. The three-day festival has been canceled by event organizers.
Brandi Carlile, Anderson East, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price and Jade Bird were the primary country artists slated to appear at Woodstock 50. The Killers, Miley Cyrus and Jay-Z were also among the main draws.
Cyrus, Santana, John Fogerty, Jay Z and the Raconteurs had pulled out in recent days and weeks, so even with a viable venue the organizers conceded they could not go forward. All artists had been paid. A press release about the cancelation encourages each artist to donate 10 percent to a charitable cause that is in the spirit of peace.
The cancelation ends a long sequence of events that put Woodstock 50 in dire straits. The Black Keys were first to pull out in April, and when tickets failed to go on sale as planned it became apparent there was trouble. Financial backers and festival producers pulled out and a venue change was called for. Originally scheduled for Watkins Glen, N.Y., the festival appeared to be moving to Vernon Downs but eventually found a smaller home at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland.
All artists were released from their contracts and many of them scrapped plans to attend.
Principle organizer Greg Peck lamented the timing of the legal disputes. "The timing meant we had few choices where our artists would be able to perform," he said in a statement. "We worked hard to find a way to produce a proper tribute — and some great artists came aboard over the last week to support Woodstock 50 — but time simply ran short."
Co-founder Michael Lang also expressed sadness over what he characterized as "unforeseen setbacks." The festival was slated for Aug. 16-18. Tickets had not gone on sale but the final plan called for a free benefit show.
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