Woodstock 50 Has Officially Been Cancelled

In unsurprising news, Woodstock 50 has officially been cancelled. The festival was supposed to feature rock acts like Greta Van Fleet, Robert Plant, Dead & Company, The Killers, Rival Sons, Fever 333, Dorothy, John Fogerty, and Santana performing alongside acts like Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Miley Cyrus, Halsey, etc.

Co-founder Michael Lang said the following about the cancellation:

“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 [voting encouragement organization] HeadCount to do a smaller event at Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change.”

As Lang mentioned, organizers were previously trying to move the event to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland after failing to secure a spot at Vernon Downs in Vernon, New York. Before that, they were also hit with a number of other obstacles including losing their main financial investor, losing their original location in Watkins Glen, New York, losing three different producers, and facing contractual breaches.

[via Blabbermouth]

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Woodstock 50 Organizers Sue Former Financial Backers

According to The Blast, the organizers of Woodstock 50 have filed a lawsuit against their former financial partner Dentsu Inc. They are claiming that the company had no right to say the festival was cancelled and that they took $17.8 million from their bank account.

In some court documents obtained by The Blast, the organizers said the investor caused “enormous and irreparable harm” through their “outrageous and illegal misconduct.” They went on to say that “in a series of precipitous, underhanded and unauthorized actions, Dentsu purported to seize control of and oust W50 from the Festival’s production, and then immediately announced through press releases to the world on April 29 that it was unilaterally cancelling the Festival.”

Organizers also claim that Dentsu “falsely [told artists] that they were released from their contracts with W50 and the Festival, and that the performers should not perform at the Festival, though they have all been paid in full.”

They are hoping to force Dentsu into arbitration and, in the meantime, order them to stop talking bad about the festival and to return the money.

Despite all this recent drama, organizers claim the event will go on as planned. If it does, it will feature rock acts like Greta Van Fleet, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Dead & Company, The Killers, Rival Sons, Fever 333, Dorothy, John Fogerty, and Santana performing alongside acts like Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Miley Cyrus, Halsey, etc.

Woodstock 50 Backers Say The Festival Has Been Cancelled, Organizers Claim The Concert Will Still Be Held

It looks like there is a bit of confusion regarding Woodstock 50. Backers for the event, which is supposed to take place in Watkins Glen, NY on August 16-18, are claiming it has been cancelled. However, the organizers for the festival are saying that is not true.

Dentsu Aegis Network told Billboard the following:

“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.”

Organizers then issued their own statement to the Poughkeepsie Journal:

“Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival’s cancelation and legal remedy will (be) sought.”

Promoter and co-founder Michael Lang also commented during a chat with the New York Times, saying “They do not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival.” He further claimed that all of the performers have already been paid and that the event will be saved if another company backs it.

UPDATE: Lang has since issued a lengthier statement [via Rolling Stone]:

“It seems in a way that history is repeating itself. In July of 1969 we lost our site in Walkill and with only a month to go we managed to move to Bethel. Woodstock was going to happen no matter what!

This time around, Woodstock’s new hometown, Dix & Watkins Glen, NY and New York State have been really wonderful. I went door to door to talk to the neighbors. Some remembered Summer Jam back in ’73 and were worried about history repeating itself. But they opened their doors to us and we talked it out. Many of those people have reached out over the last 24 hours with messages of hope and encouragement.

The venue, Watkins Glen International, have been totally supportive and professional.

Yesterday, our financial partner, Dentsu-Aegis, made the decision to pull out and informed us that they were cancelling the festival at the same time they let the press release go public.

We have yet to understand why they would try to prevent the festival from happening by seemingly undermining us in this way. It is one thing to decide for oneself that it is best to move on, but it is entirely another thing to try and close the door on us.

Yesterday, I couldn’t help but relive that moment 50 years ago — it was ‘déjà vu all over again’!

Supporting the principles of activism and sustainability are too important to be derailed by shortsighted partners.

We continue our work with NYS, Schuyler County and various parties to keep things on track.

Woodstock never belonged to Dentsu, so they don’t have a right to cancel it.

Woodstock belongs to the people and it always will.

We don’t give up and Woodstock 50 will take place and will be a blast!

Thanks for Listening, Michael”

If the festival goes on as planned, it will feature rock acts like Greta Van Fleet, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Dead & Company, The Killers, Rival Sons, Fever 333, Dorothy, John Fogerty, and Santana performing alongside acts like Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Miley Cyrus, Halsey, etc.

Greta Van Fleet, Robert Plant, Fever 333, Dorothy, Etc. To Perform At Woodstock 50

The lineup has officially been announced for Woodstock 50. The event is set to take place in Watkins Glen, NY on August 16-18 and a number of rock acts have been booked including: Greta Van Fleet, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Dead & Company, The Killers, Rival Sons, Fever 333, Dorothy, John Fogerty, Santana, and The Black Keys. The full lineup, which also features acts like Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Miley Cyrus, Halsey, etc., can be found in the below poster: