Entertainment Festivals

Monday 17 June 2019

Woodstock 50 music festival loses its venue in New York

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus
Jay-Z
The Killers

Jill Serjeant

The owners of the planned site in upstate New York for the Woodstock 50 festival, have said they will no longer be hosting it, the latest setback for the troubled three-day event.

In a statement Watkins Glen International, the owners of the site, said: "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."

Woodstock 50 was planned for August 16-19 at the Watkins Glen motor racing venue to mark the 50th anniversary of the famed 1969 Woodstock music festival.

Festival organisers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision by Watkins Glen, nor whether the event could go ahead elsewhere.

Woodstock 50 is backed by the co-producer of the original 1969 Woodstock festival, which was billed as "three days of peace and music" and is regarded as one of the pivotal moments in music history.

The festival - with a previously announced 80-act lineup that included rapper Jay-Z, pop singer Miley Cyrus, and The Killers - was thrown into chaos in April after the lead Japanese investors abruptly pulled out.

The event has been plagued with other problems, including obtaining permits and arranging security and sanitation.

Tickets for the festival, expected to attract about 60,000 people, have not yet gone on sale.

Woodstock 50 announced in March that more than 80 musical acts, including 1969 festival veterans John Fogerty, Canned Heat and Santana, would take part. Some 100,000 fans, including campers, were originally expected to attend, but that number was later reduced to 60,000.

The nonprofit Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the current owner of the field where the 1969 Woodstock festival took place, has also scaled back plans for a three-day anniversary event. It said in February it will instead host separate concerts by Ringo Starr, Santana and the Doobie Brothers.

Watkins Glen has a larger crowd capacity and is some 150 miles (240 km) distant from Bethel and about 250 miles (400 km) north of New York City.

Reuters

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