Michael Lang, Woodstock co-organizer
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Woodstock 50 Music Festival Finally Finds Venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion
Following months of struggle to finalize major details for the Woodstock 50 music festival, including venue and ticketing info, The New York Times reported yesterday that organizers have secured the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md as a site for the fest. The fest has been hyped as the official 50th anniversary celebration of the iconic Woodstock Music And Arts Fair, which was billed as "three days of peace & music" in the historic Summer of '69.
Woodstock 50 will now reportedly take place on Aug. 16–18 at the independently run amphitheater in Maryland, although a final lineup or ticketing details have yet to be revealed.
"Woodstock 50 approached Merriweather about hosting their event here in Columbia," Seth Hurwitz, operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion, said in a statement shared by the Times. "The Woodstock folks are working on securing the artists now. If the bands come, we'll produce the show. We're looking forward to getting an update as soon as Woodstock 50 has one."
Woodstock 50 announced its lineup back on March 19, along with the venue set at Watkins Glen, N.Y. That announcement revealed performers that included JAY-Z, The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Dead & Company, Chance The Rapper, as well as original fest acts John Fogerty, Santana and others.
Tickets have yet to go on sale and, as the Times points out, it is unclear who will perform at the new venue, as "artists; contracts with Woodstock 50 were tied to its originally planned venue, in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and they may have a right to refuse to play." Today, the Associated Press reported that both JAY and Fogerty have reportedly dropped out of the event.
Despite the original funder pulling out and unilaterally declaring the event canceled, along with four venues denying permits, Michael Lang, one of the organizers behind Woodstock '69 and this event, has continually affirmed it is indeed happening.
A separate 50th anniversary celebration at the site of the original fest, now home to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, will be taking place during the same weekend, with individual concerts each night from Ringo Starr, Santana and the Doobie Brothers and Fogerty closing it out on Sun., Aug. 18.
This may be history repeating itself, 50 years later; Woodstock '69 was kicked out of its original venue, in a small town called Wallkill, only several weeks before the event. The festival was ultimately saved by dairy farmer Max Yasgur, who lent his land to the fest in Bethel, N.Y.