Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Focus Features
Woodstock 50 Is Officially Cancelled
The festival that was to take place Aug.16–18 has faced issues ranging from financial troubles to issues with venues, since its inception. Co-founder of Woodstock and Woodstock 50 organizer Michael Lang cited artists backing down as one of the reasons the music event has decided to not go forward with the event this time, after having recently found a new venue, the Merriweather Post Pavilion around Baltimore, and starting a collaboration with HeadCount, a non-profit committed to getting people registed to vote.
"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," Lang said in a statement. "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."
Lang enouraged artists who have been paid by the festival to donate to HeadCount: "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.”
The festival had been struggling with several details throughout its planning. The festival struggled with venue permits, financial support, and having a clear lineup. In late April, it was announced that the festival was canceled to due to the backing out of their original funder, Dentsu Aegis Network.