I know, I know. Since its initial announcement back in late January, the festival revival of Woodstock 50 has been plagued by a slew of legal and logistical issues. While its founder and original organiser of Woodstock, Michael Lang, has been adamant the event would go ahead, several sources have taken to Variety to announce the official cancellation of the three-day festival.
Originally schedule for August 16 – 18, yesterday it was reported that main headliner Miley Cyrus had pulled out. Out of desperation the event also announced its tickets would be free and would accept donations for charity, however the contingency plan didn’t work. Overnight, an official statement was released from Michael Lang:
“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 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.”
Added Greg Peck, principal of Woodstock 50: “The unfortunate dispute with our financial partner and the resulting legal proceedings set us off course at a critical juncture, throwing a wrench in our plans and forcing us to find an alternate venue to Watkins Glen. The timing meant we had few choices where our artists would be able to perform. 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. We are greatly disappointed and thank all of our supporters, including the team at Merriweather Post Pavilion and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. Woodstock’s values of peace and tolerance are more important today than ever for all of us to stand for and we look to the future for ways to honour and celebrate these ideals.”
It is unfortunate news for the event which ultimately could have been legendary, as people from around the world celebrate what the original Woodstock stood for. Music, peace and love. However after violent riots in 1999, the event was cancelled and for the most part, it seems that the famed celebration is cursed.
Perhaps we will see a 51st anniversary celebration?