Woodstock 50 Has Either Been Canceled or It Hasn’t
Woodstock 50 has been cancelled, Billboard is reporting based on a statement from Dentsu Aegis Network, the multimedia company that was funding the festival. However, a spokesperson from the festival itself is denying the cancelation. Will ticketholders still be able to see Miley Cyrus and Hot Tuna performing at the same venue this summer? Time will tell.
“We don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees,” Dentsu Aegis said in a statement published today. But a statement from Woodstock 50 itself, given to the Poughkeepsie Journal, contradicts this: “Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival’s cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought.” Based on the statements, it seems that perhaps Dentsu Aegis has decided to pull its funding, but Woodstock 50’s organizers believe they may still be able to throw a festival without it.
The festival, which marked the 50th anniversary of the legendary original Woodstock concert in 1969, had been slated to take place in Watkins Glen, NY, on August 16-18. The lineup included current day stars like the Killers, Jay-Z, and Chance the Rapper performing alongside veterans of the original Woodstock era such as Dead & Company, Santana, David Crosby, and John Fogerty.
Rumors of a cancelation had dogged the festival recently, following the postponement of a ticket sale. Earlier this month, Woodstock founder Michael Lang said that they were “just more rumors,” and the concert would proceed as scheduled.
Below, read Dentsu Aegis’s full cancelation statement, via Billboard:
It’s a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival. But despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees. As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.
Update (9:15 p.m. ET): Representatives for Woodstock 50 told Pitchfork in part, “The bottom line is, there is going to be a Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival.” Read the full statement below.
We are committed to ensuring that the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock is marked with a festival deserving of its iconic name and place in American history and culture. Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will of course be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners. We would like to acknowledge the State of New York and Schuyler County for all of their hard work and support. The bottom line is, there is going to be a Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival, as there must be, and it’s going to be a blast.