Updated: Woodstock 50 Claims ‘In Discussions With Another Venue’ After Watkins Glen Terminates License

Update: Woodstock 50 principal Gregory Peck released a statement late today (June 10) following news that Watkins Glen International announced it had terminated the site license. “We confirm that we will not be moving forward with Watkins Glen as a venue for Woodstock 50,” Peck wrote. “We are in discussions with another venue to host Woodstock 50 on August 16th—18th and look forward to sharing the new location when tickets go on sale in the coming weeks.”

With less than ten weeks before the festival is set to begin, Woodstock 50 will have to scramble to find a venue, get its permitting. back-end production and  ticketing in place — a tall order in the best of circumstance — if it’s to happen. To W50’s credit, the organizers were able to get Oppenheimer & Co. to sign on as a financial adviser following the early-May departure of Dentsu, Woodstock 50’s original promoter, but it’s still not clear if the festival can finance the initial investment to start-up the festival.

This is not the first time original Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, who is organizing Woodstock 50,  has had his back up against the wall.  50 years ago the original Woodstock was booted out of Walkill, NY with only a month to find a new site. That was when it re-located to Max Yasgur’s famed dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y., where the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held Aug. 15-18, 1969.

Original Report:
The fate of the Woodstock 50 festival was cast further into doubt Monday afternoon when Watkins Glen International announced it’s not hosting the anniversary event.
Watkins Glen issued a two-sentence statement saying it had terminated the site license for the upstate New York festival “pursuant to provisions of the contract.”
A representative of the festival said a comment will be issued soon.
The festival scheduled Aug. 16-18 has faced a series of setbacks. Financial backer Amplifi Live announced April 29 it was canceling the festival and took back about $18 million, the remains of the $49 million it had put in. Production company Superfly soon dropped out after tangling with organizers over how many people the Watkins Glen auto racing site could accommodate.
Woodstock co-founder and 50th anniversary festival organizer Michael Lang filed a lawsuit against the investor and insisted the show was still on. A judge ruled May 16 that Amplifi, an arm of Japan-based marketing firm Dentsu, couldn’t singlehandedly call off the show but also doesn’t have to put the $18 million back into it while the dispute headed to arbitration.
Legal skirmishes have continued, but Woodstock 50 has so far lost bids to regain the $18 million. The organizers have said investment bank Oppenheimer & Co. signed on as a financial adviser to pull money together.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit shed light on how much work lay ahead. Major improvements, including roads and a temporary water system, needed to be made to the racetrack site, according to court documents and testimony. And the total number of attendees — and, therefore, ticket sales — had been called into question, with organizers envisioning 150,000, but Superfly saying 65,000 was the “safe and appropriate capacity,” according to the documents.
The tentative lineup includes Jay-Z, Santana, Miley Cyrus, John Fogerty, Dead & Company and Imagine Dragons.