Woodstock 50 or Fyre 2.0?

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.

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.

Since then, Woodstock has emailed anyone who has subscribed to their social media assuring us that we are in good hands and that Woodstock 50 will triumph against adversity just as the original one did in 1969.

E-mail sent to all Woodstock 50 subscribers

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. Hopefully we’ll be seeing you guys in NY at a well-executed Woodstock tribute this summer, but if not, ’till next time Fest Fam.

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