[UPDATE May 1st at 1:00 p.m. ET]: Rolling Stone has reported that SuperFly the event’s production partner, has now also left the project. The event production company is known throughout the industry as the co-producers of major festivals including Bonnaroo and Outside Lands.
[UPDATE 7:00 p.m. ET]: According to the New York Times, festival co-founder Michael Lang told them, “They [the financial backers] do not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival.” Lang said the cancellation announcement by Dentsu Aegis Network caught him by surprise.
[UPDATE 1:25 p.m. ET]: Despite the announcement by the event’s financial backer, a statement from Woodstock 50 organizers obtained by The Poughkeepsie Journal argues, “Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival’s cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought.”
We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.
There will be no 50th-anniversary celebration of Woodstock this summer. According to a new report from Billboard shared early Monday afternoon, the three-day festival organized by Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang which was set to take place at Watkins Glen International on August 16th–18th, has officially been canceled.
According to the report, the event’s financers, Dentsu Aegis Network, released a statement which reads:
“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 … As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.”
Lang has yet to share his own statement as of 12:30 p.m. EST.
The somewhat (but not really) surprising news on Monday comes just a week after the event’s on-sale date for tickets was postponed, sparking rumors of a potential cancellation which as now come into fruition. Just a few days later, Lang shared his hopes for potential international expansion for the Woodstock brand, although they now may be in jeopardy going forward.
The 50th-anniversary event was scheduled to feature performances from major artists including Jay Z, Miley Cyrus, Dead & Company, Chance The Rapper, The Killers, and dozens more.
This story is developing.