Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival Called Off

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A concert filled with A-list talent and scheduled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of 1969’s Woodstock is no longer happening, organizers announced Monday.

According to Billboard, the company that was to produce the festival has issued a statement announcing the cancellation.

“Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees,” Dentsu Aegis Network said in a statement.

The event was to take place in mid-August with headliners including Jay-Z, The Killers, Chance the Rapper, and Miley Cyrus. However, the planning hit snags due to everything from permit issues to safety concerns. No tickets were ever sold, meaning that refunds won’t be necessary, while the company had already missed a deadline to begin selling tickets.

However, per Billboard, most of their artists have already been paid for their participation

The organizers likely feared another Fyre Festival, the 2017 music festival that was exposed as both financial fraud and an in-person fiasco, with none of the promised entertainment, hotel accommodations, or food coming through. The Fyre Festival was a memorable real-time social media moment and led to the arrival earlier this year of two different documentaries, one on Netflix and one on Hulu, which arrived the same week.

The original Woodstock, held in the summer of 1969 in upstate New York, was a seminal cultural moment in the 1960s, and a touchstone of hippie culture in the decades since. Attempts to commemorate it with anniversary festivals have had a more mixed record.

Woodstock ’94 took place on the 25th anniversary of the first Woodstock, in which contemporary artists such as Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nine Inch Nails were the headliners. The event was mostly well-received and is memorable for the large amount of mud at the scene.

Five years later, Woodstock ’99 was much less of a success. Festival-goers revolted, in part due to high prices of concessions at the event, which led to violence as well as large fires. In addition, there were multiple reported incidents of sexual assault at the festival, including a reported gang rape that took place during Limp Bizkit’s set, per Rolling Stone.

There have not been any other Woodstock anniversary concerts in the years since, with the exception of a “Heroes of Woodstock” tour in 2009, which assembled acts that had performed at the original 1969 Woodstock event.