Woodstock 50 has been canceled. The recently announced anniversary festival which featured headliners The Killers, Dead & Company, and Jay-Z, will no longer be taking place. Dentsu Aegis Network, a digital marketing and media firm headquartered in London and owned by the Japanese media firm Dentsu, was the principle investor for the festival. The company released a statement on Monday regarding the cancelation.
“It’s a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival.
But despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees. As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.”
In a conflicting statement, Woodstock 50 organizers denied the festival’s demise. “Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival’s cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought,” the festival said in a statement.
According to reps for the festival, concerns over permits, site readiness, and crowd capacity were the main issues that led to the cancelation. After the festival missed a deadline to start selling tickets last week, representatives reach out to both Live Nation and AEG soliciting a $20 million investment to save the festival. Both companies declined.
According to Billboard, Amplify Live – the investment arm of Dentsu – more than $30 million had already been spent paying most of the artists on the bill.
Woodstock 50 was set to take place at Watkins Glen on August 16-18. Michael Lang, co-creator of the original Woodstock in 1969, had enlisted the services of Superfly, a festival organization company, to handle the logistics of the massive music outing.
Woodstock 50 was being produced under license from Woodstock Ventures LC, which was founded by Lang, Joel Rosenman and the late John Roberts. The three founders, along with Artie Kornfeld, produced the original Woodstock festival in 1969. Kornfeld had rejoined the team for Woodstock 50.
Other rock and alternative acts that originally signed on play the festival included Santana, The Black Keys, Imagine Dragons, The Raconteurs, Dead & Company, Cage The Elephant, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, John Fogerty, Nathaniel Ratliff and the Night Sweats, The Fever 333, Dorothy, Portugal. The Man, Gary Clark Jr., Rival Sons, Pearl, and Greta Van Fleet.