Jay-Z, Dead & Company, the Black Keys, Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons and Halsey are among the headliners that will be performing at Woodstock 50 this August 16-18 at Watkins Glen in upstate New York.
Co-founder Michael Lang publicly announced the lineup Tuesday at Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios in New York City. He noted that the current political climate bears a resemblance to that of 1969.
“It’s kind of spooky how similar things are. How some of the things that we thought we’d gone past in the last 50 years – the racial divides, care for the environment and women’s rights – now we have Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement and climate deniers and another a**hole in the White House,” Lang said at the press conference as reported by NBC. “So, it’s very similar.”
More than 80 artists, including Janelle Monae, Brandi Carlile, the Lumineers, Portugal the Man and India.Arie, are expected to perform on three main stages at Watkins Glen International Racetrack in the Finger Lakes for Woodstock 50.
Alongside Lang at the conference were John Fogerty and Common, both of which will be performing at Woodstock 50. Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival will be one of a half-dozen or so acts from the original Woodstock featured this year, including Santana, John Sebastian, Crosby Stills Nash and Young’s David Crosby, Melanie, Country Joe McDonald and Canned Heat.
Dead & Company is a headliner, which features original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.
Fogerty, 73, recalled following up the Grateful Dead at the original festival after midnight with half of the audience asleep.
“I was frustrated and I said something like, ‘We hope you’re having a good time out there. We’re playing our hearts out for ya up here.’ And I don’t really see much moving. I see a light, somebody’s lighter goes on in the darkness and somebody out there says, ‘Don’t worry about it John, we’re with ya!’ So I played the whole rest of my complete Woodstock concert for that guy,” he said.
The original Woodstock, billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: Three Days of Peace and Music” was held at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in what is now known as Bethel Woods. Woodstock 50 is not taking place at the original site. Syracuse.com reported that another music festival scheduled for the same weekend at the original Sullivan County site has been rescheduled.
More than 400,000 people attended the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, which was held August 15-17, 1969. Thirty-two acts performed and it is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history.