Woodstock 50, or no Woodstock 50? As Shakespeare would put it, “that is the question.”
Billboard reported yesterday (April 29) that Dentsu Aegis Network, the primary investor in the more than $30 million festival, was canceling the event. Investors pulled funding and said they were unable to produce a festival “worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees.”
But not so fast.
Woodstock 50 organizer and co-founder of the original festival in ’69 Mark Lang told the Poughkeepsie Journal that the show will go on; and he’s in it for the long haul. He also said the following in a statement via Woodstock Ventures:
“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.”
Will there be a Woodstock 50 festival this summer at Watkins Glen International raceway? Maybe, maybe not. Hard to tell at this point.
What’s clear is that all the artists who were booked have been paid in full already, and many hotels in the area have reported being over capacity that weekend as well.
Regardless of how that plays out, the original Woodstock site at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will hold its own celebration that weekend.
That will consist of a concert by Arlo Guthrie and a screening of the “Woodstock” documentary on the field Thursday, (August 15); Ringo Starr, Guthrie, and The Edgar Winter Band on the pavilion stage Friday (August 16); Santana with the Doobie Brothers on Saturday (August 17); and John Fogerty on Sunday (August 18).