UPDATE as of Friday, June 14: According to Billboard, the festival was dropped from Watkins Glen because organizers failed to make the final $150,000 payment due on May 15. Court filings in New York showed that Michael Printup made several attempts to collect the payment from investor Greg Peck before issuing a breach notification on June 3.
Woodstock 50 seemed too good to be true. In the months leading up to the highly-anticipated festival commemorating the 1969 legendary event, organizers lost one of their headlining acts, financial partner, and now, their venue.
“We confirm that we will not be moving forward with Watkins Glen as a venue for Woodstock 50,” Gregory Peck, principal of Woodstock 50, said in a statement yesterday. “We are in discussions with another venue to host Woodstock 50 on August 16-18 and look forward to sharing the new location when tickets go on sale in the coming weeks.”
The festival was originally set to be held at the Watkins Glen International Speedway in Watkins Glen, New York because the original Woodstock site, Bethel Woods, will not be able to hold enough people expected to attend. Originally, creator Michael Lang announced that a crowd of six figures was expected, however over time, that number dropped down to 75,000.
The past few weeks, Woodstock 50 has made headlines as the financial partner, Dentsu, pulled out of the fest and cancelled the event. This led to a legal battle between Woodstock organizers and the financial company, as Lang claimed Dentsu did not have the right to cancel the festival. A judge ruled that the festival may continue, but Dentsu was not responsible for returning the $18 million it withdrew from the event. Late last month, the Woodstock team announced that Oppenheimer & Co. would serve as the festival’s new financial advisor.
Now, time is running out. The festival is just around two months away and tickets still have not gone on sale. A venue is up in the air, and it is unknown if all the acts on the original lineup will still perform. Additionally, organizers are still waiting on a permit from the New York State Department of Health before they can begin selling tickets, which Lang estimated would cost around $450 for a weekend pass.
Lang claims time and time again that the festival will still go on as planned, noting that in July of 1969, organizers lost their original site in Walkill and with only a month to go, they managed to change their site to Bethel. It seems history is repeating itself, but Lang claims that that the lineup will “not just entertain, but will remind the world that music has the power to bring people together, to heal, to move us to action, and to tell the stories of a generation.”
A-list stars Halsey, Imagine Dragons, Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, and The Killers are slated to take the stage, along with legendary acts Dead & Company, John Fogerty, and Santana.