Woodstock 50 will not be heading to Vernon, New York. According to Variety, the town’s planning committee unanimously voted no to hosting the three-day festival. The decision came last night at 8:30 p.m. local time, and is the latest in a string of setbacks for the music and arts festival.
Woodstock 50 was originally announced in January as a 50th anniversary celebration of the original Woodstock festival, which took place in August, 1969 in Bethel, New York. The “three days of love, peace and music” had a star studded line-up, including Miley Cyrus, The Killers, The Raconteurs, Robert Plant, Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z and Imagine Dragons. Original Woodstock performers Santana, John Fogerty and David Crosby were also set to appear. The festival was originally scheduled for August 16 to 18.
Woodstock cofounder and coproducer Michael Lang wasn’t sure of the festival’s future when he spoke after the decision was announced.
“We need to regroup and figure it out. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.”
Earlier in the day, he also talked about the festival’s fate.
“If it doesn’t work this year, it doesn’t work this year. We’ve tried everything we can. We’ve done our best. We’ll continue to do our best until we find out one way or the other whether it’s going to happen,” he said.
The festival also released a statement saying, “We regret that those in Vernon who supported Woodstock have been deprived of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the rebirth of a cultural peace movement that changed the world in 1969 and is what the world needs now.”
— NME (@NME) July 17, 2019
Shortly after the decision was announced, Virgin Produce, the festival’s production partner, announced it will no longer be working on the festival, saying that “time has expired.” This comes after the festival lost financial backer Dentsu Aegis in May and Watkins Glen International speedway in June.
Despite this, NME reports that festival organizers are set to reapply today. Prior to the decision on Tuesday, the Town of Vernon had already rejected written applications twice in the past week.
If the latest appeal is successful, the festival will be held at Vernon Downs, which has a capacity of 35,000.
Meanwhile, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is hosting a series of events to celebrate Woodstock on the festival’s original site. According to The Post-Standard, the center will host a series of concerts from August 15 to 17, with performances by John Fogerty, Ringo Starr, Santana, the Doobie Brothers and the Edgar Winter Band.