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Troubled Woodstock 50 loses another venue

With 37 days to go, the 50th-anniversary Woodstock is still without a festival site, after the town of Vernon, New York, denied it an event permit

By IQ on 10 Jul 2019

Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel

image © Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel

A small town in New York state mooted as the new location for Woodstock 50 has rejected the troubled festival’s request for a permit, saying its application is both too late and incomplete.

The denial, confirmed yesterday by Vernon spokesperson Vincent Rossi, came a day after opponents of the festival packed a town council meeting to voice their concerns about safety and traffic in the rural area, according to the Associated Press.

Rob Maciol, sheriff of Oneida County, which contains Vernon, told the crowd it would be impossible to ensure public safety on such short notice – the festival is due to begin on 16 August – reports the AP.

Organisers are expected to appeal the decision, which they have to right to do within five days.

The Vernon Downs racecourse (pictured) emerged as a potential site for the festival after the original venue, Watkins Glen International, pulled out last month, citing breach of contract.

Organisers have the right to appeal the decision within five days

The future of Woodstock 2019, conceived as a 50th-anniversary celebration of the original Woodstock in 1969 by organiser Michael Lang, has been up in the air since original its financial partner, Dentsu Aegis’ investment arm Amplifi Live, pulled out in April. Upon Amplifi’s withdrawal, Dentsu reps declared they had unilaterally cancelled the festival, though a New York judge ruled the following month the event would still be allowed to go ahead.

Lang and partners secured a new financial financial backer, in the form of investment bank Oppenheimer and Co., in May, though Woodstock 50 still lacks the mass-gathering permit from local authorities needed to ahead, and tickets are not yet on sale, with just over a month to go.

More than 80 acts have been booked for the event, including headliners the Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z and Imagine Dragons.


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