The town of Vernon, New York has rejected Woodstock 50’s proposal to hold the anniversary festival at Vernon Downs for the fourth time in two weeks, with one official calling the safety plan “worthless.”
Woodstock 50 has been spiraling out of control for months now. The ticket onsale date was delayed, a headlining act backed out of the event, their financial backer pulled out of the fest, and organizers lost their venue in Watkins Glen after failing to make a final payment. Now, the festival was rejected once again to hold the event in Vernon with the festival less than a month away.
According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, two issues that caused the town to reject the proposal include safety and capacity. In a confidentiality statement, organizers said that they do not “make any warranty as to the absolute accuracy of completeness of the information contained.” The Town of Vernon Code Enforcement Officer Reay Walker said that this statement “invalidates the entire plan.”
“This disclaimer of responsibility makes the plan worthless,” Walker said, noting that “the purpose of a Public Safety Plan, insofar as submitted to the Town Code Office, is to make a representation to the permitting authority that the Public Safety Plan will be followed and that its estimates are accurate.”
Walker thinks that the plan is lacking and still has questions regarding people entering the venue without tickets, how a perimeter fence would be constructed, and how 65,000 fans would leave once the festival ends each night. He wondered how safe it would be to force people to leave the festival’s grounds at 11 p.m., leaving many sleeping in their cars or an unguarded lawn or sidewalk.
Woodstock 50 is set to take place on August 16 to 18, yet tickets have not gone on sale and organizers do not have a permit or venue. With each passing day, it seems less likely that Woodstock 50 will actually take place next month.