Woodstock’s 50th anniversary revival has been canceled.
Dentsu Aegis Network, the primary investor behind the festival, confirmed the news in a statement on Monday: “Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees.”
The statement goes on, “As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.”
The brainchild of Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, the 2019 revival was scheduled take place August 16th-18th in Watkins Glen, New York. The announced lineup included many contemporary stars including JAY-Z, Miley Cyrus, Chance the Rapper, and Imagine Dragons alongside veteran artists like Robert Plant, Santana, David Crosby, John Fogerty, and Grateful Dead offshoot Dead and Company.
Update – April 29th at 5:00 p.m. EST: Lang is disputing the festival’s cancelation. He says Dentsu Aegis Network “[does] not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival,” and he’s currently looking for a new financial backer to save the event.
News of the Woodstock’s cancelation is shocking, but not surprising. From the onset, there were warning signs that the festival was dead on arrival.
In early March, after Woodstock organizers failed to pay talent fees, talent bookers went public with their concerns that the festival was in financial trouble. Ultimately, Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang and Dentsu made the payments in full and announced the lineup in mid-March. But just weeks later, one of Woodstock’s headliners, The Black Keys, pulled out of the festival, citing “a scheduling conflict.” The festival’s ticket on-sale date was then postponed, and there were reports that organizers had failed to secure the proper permits to hold the event.
According to Billboard, representatives for Woodstock cite concerns over festival capacity, site readiness, and permitting issues as the reason for the cancelation. In a last-minute attempt to save the festival, organizers sought a $20 million investment from Live Nation and AEG, but both companies declined the offer, Billboard reports.
This is a developing story…