Woodstock 50, everyone’s favorite (er, second-favorite) festival-planning shitshow story, has been dealt a devastating blow.
According to a statement from the PR team at Watkins Glen International (as reported ), the venue that was supposed to host the highly publicized anniversary festival this summer, “Watkins Glen International terminated the site license for Woodstock pursuant to provisions of the contract. As such, WGI will not be hosting the Woodstock 50 Festival.”
This bad news for Woodstock 50 is the latest bullet point in the long, cringe-worthy saga that has plagued the anniversary festival throughout this spring. Michael Lang and his fellow event organizers have yet to officially give word on the event’s cancellation despite a myriad of indicators that the festival will not go on as planned.
Last we heard from the Woodstock camp in late May, they had secured a new financial backer, Oppenheimer & Co, to help salvage the festival after the embattled would-be festival. The recruitment of this new financial backer came after weeks of legal drama and conflicting information surrounding Woodstock and their original financiers, Dentsu, who made an announcement “officially” canceling the event in April after deciding that “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.”
Lang quickly fired back, asserting that the festival was, in fact, still going forward as planned. He maintained that Dentsu had no legal right to cancel the festival, and even filed a lawsuit against the firm asserting that they illegally stole more than $17M from the festival’s bank account in an attempt to sabotage the event.
Amidst all the confusion, various artists signed on to perform at the festival have noted that they are still in the dark on the status of the event. As John Fogerty told Rolling Stone, “They postponed announcing the tickets, and I remember reading a while ago that they didn’t have some of the permits. That just blew my mind. You’d think it would be the first thing you’d do and not the last thing. You got the sense there was some shakiness to this whole thing.”
Dead & Company’s John Mayer also commented on unknown status of the festival, telling Andy Cohen, “I’m as much of a spectator as anyone else is to this wildness. I was told, ‘Yeah it’s not happening.’ There’s only one person still saying, ‘No, it’s gonna go.’ It reminds me of the scene in Monty Python [and The Holy Grail] where the knight is now missing the arm and the leg and he’s hopping up and down and saying, ‘It’s just a flesh wound.’ If those guys [Dead & Company] end up going, I will go, but it seems to me now: ‘It’s just a flesh wound’ and blood is spurting everywhere.”
While Woodstock 50 now seems less likely than ever to go on as planned with its venue off the table, event organizers have yet to confirm that the event is, in fact, canceled.
[H/T WTEN Local News]