Woodstock 50, a festival commemorating the 1969 event, has faced numerous hardships over the past few months, and now, their proposal to hold the festival in the town of Vernon, New York has been denied.
Organizers released a statement last night sharing the news:
“Woodstock 50 is disappointed that the Town of Vernon has passed up the opportunity to hold the historic 50th Anniversary Festival by denying our robust and thoughtful proposal. We regret that those in Vernon who supported Woodstock have been deprived of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the rebirth of a cultural peace movement that changed the world in 1969 and is what the world needs now. We want to thank the artists who stood by us. We are grateful for the support of Vernon Downs and its generous owner Jeffrey Gural.”
Following the decision Tuesday night, festival organizer and co-founder of the original Woodstock, Michael Lang, was questioned about the festival. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, he was asked if this is now the end of the road for Woodstock 50, to which he replied “I don’t know…We need to regroup and figure it out.”
“I’m disappointed,” he said. “I knew this wasn’t going to be easy and I knew that the town supervisor, frankly, was really behind this position. We just hoped there was a sense of fairness that these people would be adhering to and it doesn’t seem to be the case.”
The festival has officially hit its lowest point. Not only did they lose a headlining act, their financial backer, and all the money put aside for the fest, but now, there is no venue. While the event was originally set to be held at Watkins Glen International Speedway, organizers failed to make the final payment. Now, there’s 30 days left to go and all these downfalls don’t seem particularly reassuring.
For months, Lang has been reassuring fans that these setbacks were normal and almost felt like déjà vu, since the original festival didn’t have a venue until a month beforehand. Nonetheless, organizers are cutting it close. The billed-festival, which is supposed to be held from August 16 to 18, would include performances from headlining artists like Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, and Halsey, should they still choose to take the stage.