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Woodstock 50 woes mount as venue pulls out

With under ten weeks until kick-off, the still permit-less Woodstock 50 anniversary event has added to its organisational woes by losing both its venue, the Watkins Glen racetrack in New York state, and production partner CID Entertainment.

In a statement released yesterday afternoon (11 June) US time, a spokesperson for Watkins Glen International (WGI) simply said: “Watkins Glen International terminated the site license [sic] for Woodstock pursuant to provisions of the contract. As such, WGI will not be hosting the Woodstock 50 Festival.”

Watkins Glen’s cancellation was followed less than hour later by news that CID Entertainment – itself a stand-in for Superfly, which was originally supposed to produce the event – would, “given developments”, also be forced to pull its involvement, reports Billboard.

The future of the festival, 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.

“We are in discussions with another venue to host Woodstock 50”

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, according to Rolling Stone.

Additionally, tickets are not yet on sale, despite the festival being just over two months away.

Despite the latest setbacks, festival co-organiser Gregory Peck is upbeat Woodstock 50 will go ahead as planned. “We confirm that we will not be moving forward with Watkins Glen as a venue for Woodstock 50,” says Peck in a statement. “We are in discussions with another venue to host Woodstock 50 on August 16th–18th and look forward to sharing the new location when tickets go on sale in the coming weeks.”

Acts booked to perform include the Killers, Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Chance the Rapper, Imagine Dragons and 1969 performers Santana and Dead and Company.


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