Woodstock 50: ‘We Will Continue’ Without Financial Partner

Woodstock 50 Lineup
Eric Renner Brown
– Woodstock 50 Lineup
L-R: Alan Zweibel, Andy Bernstein, Common, Michael Lang, and John Fogerty announce the Woodstock 50 lineup March 19.

UPDATE: Woodstock 50 has released the following statement:

“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.”

Previously: Woodstock 50, the 50th anniversary revival of the seminal 1969 music festival, was thrown into uncertainty Monday when Dentsu Aegis Network, the entity funding the festival, announced its cancellation.

“After careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival,” Dentsu Aegis wrote in a statement provided to Billboard. “As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.”

However, that decision may not be final. A source who works closely with Woodstock 50 told Pollstar it was unclear whether the fest, planned for Aug. 16-18, would be cancelled or not. That was echoed in reporting by the Poughkeepsie Journal, which published the following statement from Woodstock 50: “Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival’s cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought.”

In March, Woodstock 50 announced a lineup topped by acts including Jay-Z, The Killers, Miley Cyrus and Chance the Rapper. Several artists booked at the 1969 event, such as John Fogerty, David Crosby and members of the Grateful Dead, were also slated to perform.

But the fest was defined by doubt from the start. Earlier this month, headliner The Black Keys pulled out of the event, citing a “scheduling conflict.” Meanwhile ticket sales, scheduled to begin last Monday, were postponed as the festival’s permit application remained under review by Schuyler County, N.Y. health department officials.

Several agents Pollstar reached out to last week, however, said their acts received their expected upfront payments on time and the festival looked like it would be happening.

Woodstock 50 is slated to take place at Watkins Glen International Speedway in Watkins Glen, N.Y., about 150 miles away from Bethel, N.Y., where a competing Woodstock anniversary event booked for the same weekend was downsized in February.

Last August, Phish’s Curveball festival, booked for the same site, was cancelled due to inclement weather and water contamination.

Pollstar will update this developing story as more information becomes available.

Additional reporting by Andy Gensler and Deborah Speer