It hasn’t even been two months since we first started covering the great return of Woodstock for its 50th anniversary. In that span of time we’ve had a legendary lineup drop, ticket price rumors of anywhere from $400-$800, a headliner drop out, indefinitely postponed ticket sales, and an ~unofficial~ but pretty official cancellation of the festival. A whole season of the Kardashians is less dramatic than the roller coaster Woodstock 50 is putting us through. Let’s break this thing down and figure out if Woodstock 50 will go down in history like we hoped it would, or if it’s headed to the Festival Graveyard before even taking its first breath.
**Updated as of July 17, 2019, one month before Woodstock 50 is still supposedly happening.**
***Updated again on July 26, 2019 because guess what, more things have happened.***
Timeline of Events:
- 1.9.19: Original Woodstock co-founder, Michael Lang, announces Woodstock 50 will take place at Watkins Glen, NY on August 16-18
- Quick reminder: Lang previously tried to do this in 1999. Festival conditions were so bad that people ended up rioting and set part of the grounds on fire. But it’s 2019 and people can’t start fires with their Juuls, so this will probably be fine.
- 3.5.19: Lineup leaks start to appear. Chance, Imagine Dragons, and the Killers are announced as headliners.
- 3.19.19: Full Woodstock 50 lineup is released and ticket sale date is slated to be 4.22.19 aka Earth Day because, well, Woodstock. See our previous post if you need a refresher on how stacked the lineup was.
- Reminder #2: Only the ticket sale date was announced. No mention of pricing tiers or lodging options whatsoever.
- 4.5.19: Headliner, The Black Keys, pulls out of Woodstock 50
- The Black Keys cited a “scheduling conflict” as their reason for backing out. Totally legit reason, but let’s not overlook Reminder #3: Woodstock 50 wasn’t included in ANYONES published touring schedules.
- 4.21.19: Woodstock postpones their ticket sale date…the DAY BEFORE it was supposed to happen
- Reminder #4: Ticket prices have still not been posted anywhere.
- It was later released that the reason for postponement was due to lack of a necessary festival permit…not a great sign.
- 4.29.19: Woodstock 50 (officially?) cancelled.
- The primary investor behind the fest, Dentsu Aegis Network, formally withdrew its financial backing and announced that the festival is cancelled. The company said that it didn’t believe the event would live up to the Woodstock brand and therefore they could not support it.
- 4.29.19…just a tad later: Michael Lang disputes the cancellation, saying that Woodstock is for sure still happening. Anyone else getting a Billy McFarland vibe here?
- Reps from the fest went to AEG and Live Nation looking for a $20 million investment after Dentsu Aegis backed out and were promptly shot down by both companies.
- 5.1.19: Lang hires DONALD TRUMP’S PERSONAL ATTORNEY to counter Dentsu Aegis’ actions to cancel the festival
- This one needs no sub-bullet.
- 5.17.19: Woodstock finds a new sugar daddy
- Oppenheimer & Co. signs on to finance the festival. Things might be looking up?
- 6.10.19: The Watkins Glen venue cancels on hosting the fest
- Things are, and I cannot stress this enough, definitely not looking up.
- 6.24.19: Woodstock applies for a smaller venue with no campgrounds
- Vernon Downs, a hotel and racetrack, is the next potential location for Woodstock50…totally the same vibe as 1969…
- I’m gonna save myself some time here and let you guys know that on 7.9.19, the permit for Vernon Downs was denied. Woodstock 50 is once again homeless.
- 7.11.19: Woodstock is literally begging on Instagram for someone to come to the rescue
- “Will the town of Vernon allow peace, love, & music to prevail so we can celebrate Woodstock50 with you?” is what the Hail Mary post reads. We’re one sad step away from offering up feet pics for money to host the festival at this point.
- 7.25.19: HE HAS RISEN! 3 weeks before the great Woodstock 50 is supposed to take the stage, right when we all thought this festival was dead and gone, the state of Maryland comes to the rescue.
- Columbia, Maryland has agreed to host. We have downgraded from a 150,000 capacity festival ground, to a 32,000 capacity amphitheater and no camping. But it’s happening…allegedly.
- The festival is also being billed as a fundraiser now, with proceeds going towards climate change.
- 7.25.19: AND WE HAVE PRICES…well, we have rumors of prices
- If you have anything in your mouth right now, please swallow it before reading the rest of this. With 3 weeks to go and no confirmed performers, Woodstock 50 organizers claim that ONE DAY passes will start at $129 and go all the way up to FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY FIVE DOLLARS.
- No word yet on whether the $595 day pass allows you to also travel back in time to the original Woodstock in 1969, but we’ll keep you posted on that.
- 7.26.19: Original headliner, Jay-Z, officially announces that he will not be performing at Woodstock 50.
- Michael Lang is the only person on the planet surprised by this news.
While we’d love to believe the underdog story of a festival that manages to surpass expectations despite hitting every possible obstacle, with Fyre Fest being all too fresh in our memories I would say that proceeding with caution is an understatement. Losing headliners, investors, and let me just reiterate this one more time for those in the back, STILL NOT PUBLISHING ANY TICKET OR ACCOMMODATION INFO, Woodstock 50 is on the fast track to nowhere. I truly hope Michael Lang proves me wrong, but at this point the only thing that might be able to save Woodstock 50 is Andy King. You guys remember Andy right?
We’ll continue to update this as it develops, although I really don’t know where else this could go at this point. If anyone wants to Air BnB their house for Woodstock50, that might be the move.
^^In reference to the above paragraph, clearly Woodstock 50 has proved me wrong. What a journey we have taken from a massive tribute with top-of-the-line acts, to a more intimate benefit concert that still doesn’t have a confirmed performers list. This has been a wild ride guys, and I truly cannot wait to see how many more times I get to update this article within the next 3 weeks.