Woodstock 50 Loses Venue and Second Backer, Seeking New Home
With just 66 days to go until Woodstock 50 was set to take place, its organizers said they were “in discussions” with a new location to host the event on Aug. 16-18 after losing its previous venue and second backer.
Tickets failed to go on sale as planned in April, a development that foreshadowed a series of major issues. Michael Lang, co-creator of the original Woodstock, continued to insist that the anniversary festival would go ahead, while the original financiers announced it had been canceled.
After legal action, Lang secured the right to continue and found new financial backing and a new production company. Then, this week, Watkins Glen International stated that Woodstock 50 would no longer be held at the historic race track. “Watkins Glen International terminated the site license for Woodstock pursuant to provisions of the contract,” the race track said in a statement. “As such, WGI will not be hosting the Woodstock 50 Festival.”
A spokesman for local authority Schuyler County told the Poughkeepsie Journal that the development was “disappointing” but added, “While today’s announcement is difficult to absorb, it is not completely unexpected, given the well-publicized delays related to this planned event. We commend Watkins Glen International for their actions, which we feel are in the overall best interest of the community.”
Soon afterward, production company CID Entertainment announced its withdrawal too.
Consequence of Sound reports that Lang’s colleague, Gregory Peck, said they are now "in discussions with another venue to host Woodstock 50 on Aug. 16-18 and look forward to sharing the new location when tickets go on sale in the coming weeks.”
However, the report added that "typically, large-scale events of Woodstock’s magnitude require a minimum ticket on-sale window of 100 days. The festival cannot legally begin selling tickets until it acquires a mass event permit, which it cannot apply for until it settles on a venue. Even under expedited circumstances, such a permit would take several weeks for approval.”
In addition, the legality of the contracts with performer including Robert Plant, Santana, David Crosby, John Fogerty and Dead and Company appears to remain in doubt, since they were agreed with the previous production company. It’s been speculated that the artists are no longer legally obliged to appear, even though some were paid in full in advance of the lineup announcement.
“In 1969, we got kicked out of Wallkill a month before the festival was to happen," Lang said amid one of Woodstock 50’s recent issues. "One of the miracles was that we found a site the next day. We’re committed. We were committed then, and we’re not stopping now.”