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SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Woodstock Music and Arts Fair organizer Michael Lang has decided to cancel the 50th anniversary event planned for Maryland this August.
Lang, who was one of three of the original Woodstock organizers, has tried to hold an anniversary celebration in three different locations, most recently announcing that the concert would be at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD to raise money for voter-registration organization HeadCount and toward climate-change action.
All the artists scheduled to perform at the festival's previous locations, including Jay-Z and Miley Cyrus, had been released from that obligation. John Fogerty, of Creedence Clearwater Revival, said he would not be going to Maryland, but would instead stick with Bethel Woods.
Today, Lang said in a statement that he is "saddened" to be cancelling his anniversary event, but will throw his support behind the planned festivities at Bethel Woods, the original site of Woodstock '69.
“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,” Lang said in that statement. “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 Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change.
“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.”