Woodstock 50 officially cancelled

Woodstock 50 Poster
(Image credit: Woodstock 50)

The much-troubled Woodstock 50 festival has been cancelled. The news came in a statement today from the organisers, in the wake of earlier news about more bands abandoning the event

"We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the Festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating," said festival organiser Michael Lang. "When we lost the Glen and then Vernon Downs we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel. 

"We formed a collaboration with HeadCount to do a smaller event at the Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change. We released all the talent so any involvement on their part would be voluntary. 

"Due to conflicting radius issues in the DC area many acts were unable to participate and others passed for their own reasons. I would like to encourage artists and agents, who all have been fully paid, to donate 10% of their fees to HeadCount or causes of their choice in the spirit of peace. 

"Woodstock remains committed to social change and will continue to be active in support of HeadCount’s critical mission to get out the vote before the next election. We thank the artists, fans and partners who stood by us even in the face of adversity. 

"My thoughts turn to Bethel and its celebration of our 50th Anniversary to reinforce the values of compassion, human dignity, and the beauty of our differences embraced by Woodstock."

Woodstock 50 was announced at the beginning of the year, with artists including Robert Plant, Greta Van Fleet, Santana, David Crosby, Rival Sons and more agreeing to play the event.  

Since then the event has suffered a series of setbacks, including the loss of financial backing and their original site. Their location permit was denied before an alternative site was found in Maryland, but tickets to the event never went on sale. 

"The unfortunate dispute with our financial partner and the resulting legal proceedings set us off course at a critical juncture, throwing a wrench in our plans and forcing us to find an alternate venue to Watkins Glen," said Woodstock 50's Greg Peck. "The timing meant we had few choices where our artists would be able to perform. 

"We worked hard to find a way to produce a proper tribute - and some great artists came aboard over the last week to support Woodstock 50 - but time simply ran short. We are greatly disappointed and thank all of our supporters, including the team at Merriweather Post Pavilion and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. 

"Woodstock’s values of peace and tolerance are more important today than ever for all of us to stand for and we look to the future for ways to honour and celebrate these ideals."

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.