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Woodstock 50 organizers denied permit to use new site for planned festival

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With the 50th anniversary of Woodstock just over a month away, chances of the event’s original organizers staging a festival marking the milestone seems less and less likely. Variety reports that a request for a permit to stage the concert extravaganza at the site of Vernon Downs racetrack in Vernon, New York, has been denied by local officials.

Oneida County Administrator Anthony Picente Jr. tells Variety that while promoters have five days to appeal the decision, “what they have submitted to date has not met many of the requirements” needed to have the festival staged. He adds that the chances of Woodstock 50 being held in Oneida County seem “highly unlikely.”

Picente says that since Vernon Downs has no camping facilities, promoters had been planning to turn the three-day festival into three individual events, with the grounds being cleared at the end of each day. He also notes that attempts to organize the event have “been chaotic.” reports that the denial of the Woodstock 50 application came after a town board meeting in Vernon on Monday that was attended by about 100 people, with some local residents expressing concern over the noise, traffic and potential vandalism that the event would bring to the town.

The town’s sheriff, Robert Maciol, meanwhile, said at the meeting, “It is impossible to ensure the safety of the public at this point.”

Woodstock 50 originally was supposed to take place August 16-18 at Watkins Glen International speedway in Watkins Glen, New York, about 120 miles southwest of Vernon.

A variety of issues have plagued the event since plans for the star-studded, three-day festival were announced in March, including the event’s original financial backer pulling out of Woodstock 50 and Watkins Glen speedway terminating the organizers’ license for the site.

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