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All change for free-to-attend Woodstock 50

Woodstock 50 has been subject to more upheaval over the past few days, moving out of New York state, reportedly releasing all scheduled artists from contracts and making tickets free.

Eighteen days out from the anniversary event, organisers of struggling Woodstock 50 have announced a new venue, 275 miles south of the original site at Watkins Glen.

The festival is now to take place at the 32,000-capacity Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland state, having lost its first venue at Watkins Glen racetrack and later failing to secure a permit for replacement site, Vernon Downs racecourse.

Following the new venue announcement, artists were reportedly released from festival contracts, as the distance from the original site allegedly constituted a contractual breach.

All artist names and line-up information has since been removed from the Woodstock 50 website.

Acts scheduled to perform at Woodstock 50 included Jay-Z, Dead and Company, John Fogerty, the Killers, Miley Cyrus and Santana.

“We’re still waiting to hear who is playing, but [..] they [Woodstock] do still have a venue if they have a show”

“We’re still waiting to hear who is playing, but that’s not our job,” says Seth Hurtwitz, chairman and co-founder of venue operator IMP. “They do still have a venue if they have a show.”

It has also been announced that the event will now be free-to-attend, although remaining ticketed.

“Tickets are for a single day and will be distributed through HeadCount, participating artists’ foundations and local charitable partnerships in DC and Baltimore,” a Woodstock 50 spokesperson told Washington-based publication, WTOP.

Festival organiser Michael Lang has faced difficulties since the event’s primary financier, Amplifi Live, pulled out in April. The event has since lost production partners Superfly and replacement CID Entertainment, as well as its two previous venues.

Woodstock 50 is still scheduled to take place on the original dates from 16 to 18 August, with tickets yet to be distributed.

Merriweather Post Pavilion is to host concerts by Morrisey, the Smashing Pumpkins and Vampire Weekend over the coming weeks. In addition to Merriweather, IMP also operates Washington venues Anthem (6,000-cap.), 9:30 (1,200-cap.) and Lincoln Theatre (1,225-cap.).

 


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Roof collapse at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Merriweather Post Pavilion bosses have said the Columbia, Maryland, amphitheatre is to open as planned for its 2018 concert season following a roof collapse in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The 19,319-capacity venue was in the final stages of a five-year renovation project when the roof, which was being hydraulically lifted 20 feet to improve sightlines from the lawn, “unexpectedly fell” when nearly in its final position, explains Seth Hurwitz, chairman of venue operator IMP Concerts.

No one was hurt in the accident, and a “team of experts” is assessing the reason for the collapse, he adds.

“The winds of fate decided that, instead of simply raising the roof, we should just go ahead and built a new one”

“Last night, in the middle of our months-long roof raising operation, the winds of fate prevailed and decided that, instead of simply raising the roof, we should just go ahead and built a new one,” Hurwitz says in a statement. “Was not our decision, but the bright side is all the money we save on imploding.

“Nobody was hurt. That is, of course, the most important thing. [And the] second most: everything will be ready for season opening.”

Merriweather Post Pavilion last summer celebrated the 50th anniversary of its opening with a host of upgrades and a party and concert featuring performances from Jackson Browne – who recorded three songs from 1977’s Grammy-nominated Running on Empty live at the venue – Willie Nelson and Father John Misty.

 


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