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Woodstock 50 Festival Officially Cancelled Weeks Before Event

Thursday, 01 August 2019 Written by Jon Stickler

Woodstock 50 is officially cancelled.

Just two weeks before it was due to start, organisers have blamed a series of "unforeseen setbacks" for the the huge event being called off. It was originally planned to take place between August 16 and 18 at Watkins Glen, New York in celebration of 50 years since the iconic 1969 festival, which saw sets the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and Janis Joplin.

Festival co-founder Michael Lang said in a press statement:

"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 HeadCount to do a smaller event at the Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change. We released all the talent so any involvement on their part would be voluntary. Due to conflicting radius issues in the DC area many acts were unable to participate and others passed for their own reasons.

"I would like to encourage artists and agents, who all have been fully paid, to donate 10% of their fees to HeadCount or causes of their choice in the spirit of peace. Woodstock remains committed to social change and will continue to be active in support of HeadCount’s critical mission to get out the vote before the next election.

"We thank the artists, fans and partners who stood by us even in the face of adversity. My thoughts turn to Bethel and its celebration of our 50th Anniversary to reinforce the values of compassion, human dignity, and the beauty of our differences embraced by Woodstock."

The news will come as little surprise to many, after rumours started circling about financial problems back in March, with the main investor first announcing the cancellation of Woodstock 50 in April, despite organisers insisting it would go ahead.

The following month, the beleaguered festival's proposed venue was lost and various artists had dropped out. As recently as July 26, it was unclear where the festival would take place, with the most recent contender being the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, nearly 300 miles from the original festival's site.

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