The fate of the Woodstock 50th anniversary show was thrown into uncertainty today as mixed signals were sent and rumors are flying that the event is canceled.
Industry trade paper Pollstar has the headline “Woodstock 50 Thrown into Uncertainty.” (reference link.)
The headline by Billboard magazine is “Woodstock Organizers Cancel 50th Anniversary Festival,” (reference link.)
Rolling Stone is reporting “Woodstock 50 Canceled.” “We don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name,” investors say. (reference link.)
Count us as among those who are not surprised. The entire roll out of the event seemed to be not fully sure in its tone. The press releases and announcements were just short of “If it happens, this is what it will look like.” A few weeks ago the Black Keys were among the first to announce that they were pulling out of the lineup, a harbinger of today’s uncertainty.
The official facebook page of Woodstock did not yet post an announcement. The lineup was extensive but somehow seemed to satisfy neither traditionalists nor hipster music fans with a diverse lineup that ran from Miley Cyrus to the Killers, Dead and Co to Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z to Imagine Dragons, Halsey and many others. The lineup was extremely light on traditional Woodstock bands.
A classic reaction from the younger crowd:
The community surrounding Watkins Glen must be in a state of shock following cancellations two summers in a row of huge concerts, with last year’s Curveball festival being self produced by Phish being canceled after fans were already on site.
There have always been other events that were marking the anniversary of one of the most historic live music events in rock and roll history. Bethel Woods event center is holding their own concert ranging from the AUG 15th film showing to shows all weekend with Ringo Starr, Carlos Santana and the Doobie Brothers, and John Fogerty, their shows will be more single minded in their daily focus, rather than a huge number of artists at any one time. (Check out their calendar here.)
A more DIY event that is closer to the original lineup in terms of its vibe and intention is being hosted by the Yasgur Reunion folks- who have long been creating events in the spirit of Woodstock 1969. Their event is AUG 15 – 18 and you can purchase tickets here.
In the meantime, this is what Woodstock means to most people.