After a tenuous few weeks of trying to solidify its accommodations, the much-anticipated Woodstock 50 music festival has been called off.
Vendors and stakeholders were notified of the cancellation early this morning, and an official statement was released shortly afterwards. The festival was supposed to take place at the Merriweather Post Pavilion outside Baltimore the weekend of Aug. 16th to 18th, although a revised plan for a one-day show meant the concert would take place either on the Friday (for which the venue’s capacity is 20,000) or the Sunday (for which is it 32,000), due to the Smashing Pumpkins being scheduled to perform their own show at the venue on Saturday, the 17th.
Yesterday it was reported that headliner Miley Cyrus had pulled out of the festival, joining the Raconteurs, the Lumineers and original Woodstock 1969 performers Santana, John Sebastian, and Country Joe McDonald, all of whom since last night have said publicly that they’re not performing. Earlier, headliners Jay-Z and the Dead & Co., as well as John Fogerty, also confirmed that they won’t be performing. With so much talent bleeding off of the event, it’s no wonder the whole thing had to be cancelled.
In his statement, Michael Lang, the co-founder of Woodstock, encouraged the artists that were going to participate to donate 10% of their already-paid fees to the charity HeadCount. HeadCount is a non-profit targeting voter registration which has registered nearly 600,000 voters at concerts and via its website, and has amassed more than 30,000 volunteers nationwide.
This whole affair was caused by a dispute with Woodstock’s financial partner that made the intended venues of Watkins Glen and then Vernon Downs impossible. The parties involved intend to try again at Merriweather at a later time, possibly next year. The case of Woodstock 50 is deeply unfortunate, but again, there’s always a next time.