Woodstock co-founder says show will go on
WATKINS GLEN, NY — Michael Lang, the co-founder of the original Woodstock concert in Bethel, released a statement on April 29 stating the “Woodstock 50” three-day concert scheduled for Watkins Glen would go on as planned.
Lang and Woodstock LLC said that they were “committed to ensuring that the 50th anniversary of Woodstock is marked with a festival deserving of its iconic name and place in American history and culture.” (The event is separate from the performances planned for Bethel Woods.)
Lang also confirmed that the Japanese firm Dentsu Aegis Network, which had been playing a large role in financing the event, pulled out of the project, scheduled for August 16 to 18. “Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will of course be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners,” Lang said in the statement. “The bottom line is, there is going to be a Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival, as there must be, and it’s going to be a blast.”
Dentsu issued a statement earlier in the day that said, “It’s a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes, which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival. But, 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.”
In the wake of the announcement, dozens of news organizations reported that the event had been cancelled.
The Woodstock 50 concert has hit a couple of roadblocks. Ticket sales were due to begin on April 22, but that was put on hold indefinitely amid reports that the organizers were unable to obtain the necessary mass gathering permit from the New York State Department of Health.
As of April 30, tickets were not available through the concert website, www.woodstock.com, but a post said they would be available soon. The organizers said the ticket price to cover the entire three days would be $450.
Organizers say they have signed up to 80 acts to perform including Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus and Santana. According to an article in Variety, some performers have already been paid. “The festival’s top-billed artists have been paid in advance, a source tells Variety, with the money being held in escrow,” the trade magazine said.