It’s (finally) official. Today, organizers are laying to rest the plagued festival that is Woodstock 50. After months of setbacks and failing litigations, cofounder Michael Lang has pulled the plug once and for all. Once scheduled for August 16-18, 2019 as a nod to the iconic 1969 event, Woodstock 50 has been nixed.
“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.”
Michael Lang, Cofounder of Woodstock
Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z & More Had Already Pulled Out
News of the festival’s agonizing final death follows after multiple artists stated that they were pulling out. When failing to acquire their last resort venue, Vernon Downs, organizers attempted to relocate to a smaller venue in Maryland. They announced that the event would be free to the public and hoped that artists would perform voluntarily. Unfortunately, artists including Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, Carlos Santana, and many more said their farewells to the dying festival.
Losing Investors & Venues, Losing Time
The troubled festival faced a plethora of impediments from the get-go. Back in April, Woodstock 50 investors Dentsu Aegis Network pulled out, claiming at that moment that the festival was cancelled. Struggling to stay afloat, Woodstock organizers initiated a court battle over the festival’s false cancelling. At this moment, Woodstock experienced its first major setback and found new investors, Oppenheimer & Co. However, as we all know, that wasn’t enough to keep the festival alive.
The distraught outlook of the festival didn’t stop at just investors backing out. Woodstock 50 eventually lost its original venue scheduled at Watkins Glen New York. Full of tumult, organizers struggled to acquire Vernon Downs and faced multiple rejections from the townsfolk and city officials. “Common sense will tell you we’re running out of time,” proclaimed the owner of Vernon Downs. With venues looking slim and event producers throwing in the towel, Woodstock 50 succumbed to its imminent death.
“If we don’t get the decision we want, it’s something that we will then have to consider. If it doesn’t work this year, it doesn’t work this year. We’ve tried everything we can. We’ve done our best. We’ll continue to do our best until we find out one way or the other whether it’s going to happen.”
Michael Lang via Poughkeepsie Journal
The Future Of Woodstock? Woodstock Weed
Woodstock is definitely an iconic festival that we hope to see prevail in the future. Stemming from its original event in 1969, the counter-culture festival focused on peace, music, and art. While the 50th anniversary might not take place this year, Woodstock Ventures is definitely brewing something special for the future.
In lieu of the bad news, there’s a lit cherry at the end of the tunnel. A federal judge ruled today that Woodstock Roots LLC has been approved to secure trademark rights towards associating the name with cannabis products. This gives Woodstock the legal ability to license its name to cannabis brands.
“[Woodstock Ventures’] products all involve the use of recreational marijuana, while [Woodstock Roots has] expressly disavowed the notion that their products are intended for use with recreational marijuana,” U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe wrote.
With Woodstock 50 officially cancelled, news of Woodstock Weed sounds promising,. At least Woodstock Weed might be around to help Woodstockians cope with their festival blues.