Woodstock 50: Update #734 - Things Are Looking Bleak

The saga continues....

July 10, 2019

Scott Gries / Getty


I think we can all agree at this point, things have not gone well for Woodstock 50.

The festival announced earlier this year with a line up boasting the likes of major stars like Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, The Black Keys, Imagine Dragons, and more, was ostensibly set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that legendary weekend of Peace, Love, and Music, before things began to unravel.  Lets recap.

The first sign that something might not be quite right arrived in the form of The Black Keys sudden exit from the fest sighting a "scheduling conflict" (uh huh), only to be followed by the exit of the fests original investors, who announced the fests cancellation.  From there, Woodstock original founders stepped in and said something to the effect of "no no no this thing is still happening", before events and logistics partner C3, responsible for festivals like Bonnaroo, also pulled their participation.  No matter, the fest intended to charge forward, when only weeks later their original site, Watkins Glen Racetrack, also said "hey thank you, but no", forcing planners to scramble and locate a new festival site, while simultaneously securing new investors.  Miraculously somehow this was a thing they were in fact able to do, with the fest now setting it's sites on Vernon Downs to host the event across the weekend of August 16th.  That was until this week, when their permit was denied.  Yikes.

With Woodstock planners initially hoping to host 125,000 attendees in early descriptions, the original site found itself able to accommodate only 70k, with this latest location maxing out at about 50 thousand.  Mind you we are just over a month till show time, lets call it 35-ish days, and tickets have yet to go on sale.  Why might that be you ask? Well it comes down to basic math one has to assume (and also having a location I suppose), but the more people you can accommodate, the less you're able to charge to offset operational costs such as, idk, booking half the major talent on the planet, not to mention staffing, and basic things like power, running water for the site, etc.

Regardless, while just about everyone else on the planet has given up on this thing happening, the festival's founders continuing to insist it is indeed still going down and continue to have faith that literally anyone will have the confidence in this thing to not be a total shit show and actually purchase a multi-hundred dollar ticket a *checks notes* month in advance.  Sure.  Anyway, read their latest statement below on the location permit denial and continue to follow along as we ride this thing out to the bitter end.

“We understand the public safety and traffic concerns of the local community. We have been working diligently over the last several weeks to secure the permits needed to hold the festival, and will continue to work with Law Enforcement and Public Safety Officials to present a cohesive safety and traffic plan that will be satisfactory in addressing the concerns. We appreciate the honest feedback from the Town of Vernon and will continue to address their comments as we enter the final planning phases for Woodstock 50. We are confident that this careful planning and consideration of community concerns will result in a safe, world-class Festival.’’