Michael Lang, co-founder of the three-day festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the music festival Woodstock, said the event has been cancelled due to “unforeseen setbacks.”
“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 shared in a statement to Rolling Stone magazine in a piece published Thursday. (RELATED: Jay-Z Enters Wildly Growing Cannabis Industry As Brand Strategist)
“When we lost the Glen and then Vernon Downs we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel,” he added. “We formed a collaboration with [voting encouragement organization] HeadCount to do a smaller event at [Columbia, Maryland’s] Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change.”
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) July 29, 2019
The concert promoter explained that the talent they had lined up for the event, stars like Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus and more, had been released from their contracts and hoped they would play a free event on a voluntary basis. But the bands started dropping out. (RELATED: Kodak Black Arrested In Florida At The Rolling Loud Music Festival)
“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,” Lang explained. “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.”
The long-beleaguered Woodstock 50 festival will now officially take place in Maryland’s Merriweather Post Pavilion after organizers failed to secure an upstate New York location https://t.co/FexCfh7Mtk pic.twitter.com/KUYLWISWdw
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) July 25, 2019
“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,” the co-founder continued.
He and organizers had initially planned to hold the three-day concert first in Watkins Glen, New York, and then in Vernon, New York, before attempting to move it to Maryland. The festival was originally scheduled to take place from August 16 though the 18. But due to a series of setbacks including a production company pulling out of the project and denied permits, among other things, it was cancelled.
Just days ago, Jay-Z pulled out of the festival. John Fogerty also announced that he was out as well.
A 50th anniversary tribute is still set to take place in Bethel, New York later this month, near the site of the original event in 1969.