WOODSTOCK 50 Backers Say Festival Has Been Canceled; Organizers Insist Concert Will Be Held

April 29, 2019

**UPDATE**: The organizers of Woodstock 50 have shot down reports that the festival has been canceled and insist the concert will be held.

"We are committed to ensuring that the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock is marked with a festival deserving of its iconic name and place in American history and culture," they said in a statement. "Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will, of course, be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners. We would like to acknowledge the State of New York and Schuyler County for all of their hard work and support. The bottom line is, there is going to be a Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival, as there must be, and it’s going to be a blast."

Earlier today, officials with Dentsu Aegis Network, which is funding the festival, announced that Woodstock 50 was officially being called off. The event was set to take place August 16-18 in Watkins, Glen, New York — about an hour-and-a-half away from the original Woodstock site.

Dentsu Aegis Network released the following statement to Billboard:

"It's a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival. But 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."

Reps for the festival say concerns about the capacity of the festival, site readiness and permitting issues led to the cancelation of the commemorative event.

GRETA VAN FLEET, BLACK KEYS and ROBERT PLANT & THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS are among the artists who were scheduled to perform at Woodstock 50.

Several acts who took part in the 1969 festival — DEAD & COMPANY, John Fogerty, Santana, John Sebastian, Country Joe Mcdonald, CANNED HEAT and HOT TUNA — had also signed on to play this year's event.

Among the non-rock acts who were scheduled to perform were headliners like Chance The Rapper, Miley Cyrus, Halsey, Janelle Monáe and Jay-Z.

Rumors about a cancelation of Woodstock 50, organized in part by Woodstock founder Michael Lang, began when the festival missed its April 22 on-sale date. However, organizers denied claims at the time that the festival would be scrapped.

"Woodstock is a phenomenon that for 50 years has drawn attention to its principles and also the rumors that can be attached to that attention," Lang said earlier in the month, dismissing the rumors.

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