Rock acts stack up for Woodstock ’99

Aerosmith, Jewel, Metallica to play 30th anni concert

Aerosmith, Korn, Jewel, Alanis Morissette and the Dave Matthews Band are among the performers lined up to play Woodstock ’99, the 30th anniversary celebration of the famed concert.

Promoters for the three-day event, set for July 23-25, hope to attract more than 250,000 fans to Grifiss Park, the 3,600 acre site of a former Air Force base in Rome, N.Y.

More than 30 acts have been tapped to perform on the main stages with perfs programmed simultaneously in order to maintain fan interest.

Collective Soul, Metallica, Sheryl Crow, Fatboy Slim and the Offspring, among others, also have signed up to perform. More acts will soon be announced, planners said.

“We believe we can fix the problems of the ’94 event while creating the event of a lifetime,” John Scher, prexy of Gotham-based Metropolitan Entertainment Group, told Daily Variety. MEG, along with concert vets Ossie Killkenny and Michael Lang (the latter one of the promoters of both the ’94 and the original Woodstock), will produce the concert. “Every generation deserves its own Woodstock,” Scher said.

The event again will spawn an album and homevideo (the ’94 event versions both sold well), while a pay-per-view TV special is also planned. Deals on these fronts have yet to be signed.

Scher said he hopes that the event will pull in people from all over the world “to celebrate the spirit of the original concert in 1969 as well as celebrate the spirit and the music of the moment.”

The festival is expected to contribute more than $30 million to the local economy and organizers said the event will be better organized than the 1994 fest, which marked the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock. The ’94 version was plagued by mismanagement and inclement weather.

Organizers said the ticketing and admission procedures will be better handled than at the ’94 effort, when thousands of gate crashers gained access and some concertgoers feared for their safety. “This is being held on an Air Force base where millions of dollars of military equipment was once stored,” said Scher. “Security will not be a problem.”

To ensure a smoothly running fest, Scher has tapped the expertise of several large-scale and international organizers, with particular emphasis on security, planning, staging and management. More than 2,800 security personnel will man the event alongside 900 Woodstock staffers who will offer guidance to festival-goers.

The ’99 location will boast on- and off-site parking, and 240 acres set aside for overnight camping in addition to the usual concessions and thousands of portable toilets.

Air and land ticket packages will go on sale beginning next week, and festival marketers have linked with Northwest Airlines to offer special fares. Individual ducats will cost $150.

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