Woodstock 50 Cancelled – Co-Founder Speaks Out

Woodstock / Instagram

Fans were ecstatic when festival organizers announced they would be putting on another Woodstock festival, in honor of the famous 1969 festival, called Woodstock 50.

The festival, which is meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famous Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York, was supposed to be a three-day event from August 16-August 18. Performers on the bill included a mix of newer artists like Jay-Z and Miley Cyrus, as well as Woodstock veterans such as CCR’s John Fogerty.


Tickets were supposed to go on sale in April, but never did. And the festival was supposed to take place in Watkins Glen, New York, but its permit was denied by the New York State Department of Health. That denial prompted investors to pull their support from the festival.

Organizers chose a new venue, and settled on Vernon, New York. But on July 16, the city unanimously voted to deny the festival’s permit for that location as well.

Now, the troubled festival is supposed to take place at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland, which is hundreds of miles from its original location.

After news broke that Woodstock 50 had been denied its permit in Vernon, Fogerty became the first artist to back out of the festival. Jay-Z and Dead & Company later followed suit.

Then, in a bizarre twist, Woodstock 50 announced on July 29 that its tickets would finally be made available…for free.

Now – just days later – Variety is reporting that Woodstock 50 is no longer happening. Vendors and investors were notified on July 31.

According to Variety, Miley Cyrus officially pulled out of the festival on July 30, along with the Raconteurs, the Lumineers and original Woodstock 1969 performers Santana, John Sebastian and Country Joe McDonald.

In a statement shared to Variety, the festival’s co-founder said,

“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.”

Were you planning on going to Woodstock? Let us know in the comments!