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Official Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival Location & Date Confirmed
As the 1969 Woodstock Music And Arts Fair approaches 50 years, music fans have been anticipating any and all news surrounding a possible half-century celebration. Now, Michael Lang, one of the original event's organizers, has shared new details around Woodstock’s confirmed 50-year event, including a new location.
Today, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Lang re-confirmed that the official event will be taking place Aug. 16–18 in Upstate New York, but not in Sullivan County, home to Bethel Woods. He also revealed the challenge of finding a space that would work, settling on Watkins Glen, a more remote location with enough open space to host what will around six figure’s worth of attendees. The rustic locale has hosted several huge concerts before, including approximately 600,000 people in 1973 for the Allman Brothers Band, the Grateful Dead and the Band (all of whom also performed at Woodstock '69).
There may not be many hotels by Watkins Glen, but apparently there will be glamping: "I was desperate to keep it in New York. I looked everywhere because I needed 1,000 acres of clear land with access and infrastructure," Lang told Rolling Stone. "When I looked [at Watkins Glen], I knew it was the perfect facility for what we had in mind. It was reminiscent to me of finding Max [Yasgur]'s field."
Watkins Glen is about 160 miles from Sullivan County, so for music fans who have already booked rooms (a large portion of hotels and Airbnbs are already booked for Aug. 16–18) and want to attend the official Woodstock '19, you may want to reconsider your concert accommodations.
While no performers have been announced for either the official event or the previously announced unofficial anniversary concert at Bethel Woods Center For The Arts, Lang did offer some juicy hints as to what’s in store, namely that performers will begin to be announced in February when tickets go on sale.
Lang said that over 40 performers have been booked three stages, including some big names. "It'll be an eclectic bill. It'll be hip-hop and rock and some pop and some of the legacy bands from the original festival," he explained.
"Having contemporary artists interpret that music would be a really interesting and exciting idea. We're also looking for unique collaborations, maybe some reunions and a lot of new and up-and-coming talent," Lang shared.
He hopes that this mix of talent and sounds, along with promotion of Woodstock's peace, love and activism ideals, will help draw a "multi-generational" crowd.
"A lot of festivals these days are kind of cookie-cutter,” he said. Very few of them have any sort of social impact [and] that's a wasted opportunity. Woodstock, in its original incarnation, was really about social change and activism. And that's a model that we’re bringing back to this festival. It's a gathering for fun and for excitement and for experiences and to create community, but it's also about instilling kind of an energy back into young people to make their voices heard, make their votes heard."