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Woodstock organisers blame permit rejection on “politics”

The organisers of the beleaguered Woodstock anniversary festival have blamed “certain political forces”, following the denial of a temporary event permit from the town of Vernon in New York State.

The small town rejected the festival’s request for a permit yesterday (10 July), on the basis that its application was late and incomplete.

In a statement released today, Woodstock organisers stated that “certain political forces may be working against the resurrection of the festival.”

The Woodstock 50 team also denied that they had submitted incomplete filing for the permit.

“Woodstock 50 officials were informed by the town of Vernon that most questions had been answered and asked only that Woodstock submit medical, safety/security and traffic plans by this past Sunday, which it did,” reads the statement.

“Certain political forces may be working against the resurrection of the festival”

Organisers indicated that they plan to file an appeal of the decision, saying they were “hopeful” that such a reapplication would “prevail without further political interference”.

The permit rejection followed a meeting in which officials raised concerns over the ability to ensure safety at the event, given the short timeframe available.

Woodstock 50 is scheduled to take place from August 16 to 18. Tickets are yet to go onsale.

The future of the 50th-anniversary celebration of Woodstock has been in doubt ever since its financial partner, Dentsu Aegis’ investment arm Amplifi Live, pulled its support in April.

The event has since lost two production partners – Superfly and CID Entertainment – and its original venue, Watkins Glen International.

 


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Troubled Woodstock 50 loses another venue

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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