×

Woodstock 50 Vows to Find New Venue After Watkins Glen Raceway Pulls Out

UPDATED: The beleaguered Woodstock 50 festival needs to find a new site: Watkins Glen International Raceway announced today in a statement that it has pulled out.

But lest anyone think that’s the final blow for the seemingly star-crossed festival, its indefatigable organizers have announced that Woodstock 50 will still proceed at a different locale, yet to be announced.

“We confirm that we will not be moving forward with Watkins Glen as a venue for Woodstock 50,” said Gregory Peck, identified as one of the festival’s principals, in a statement. “We are in discussions with another venue to host Woodstock 50 on August 16-18 and look forward to sharing the new location when tickets go on sale in the coming weeks.”

The loss of the host site is not the only fresh major obstacle to moving forward. A re for event producer CID Entertainment, which came on board after original producer Superfly pulled out late in April, has also withdrawn from the festival, leaving it without a site or a producer.

“CID Entertainment had been engaged to provide enhanced camping, travel packages and transportation for Woodstock 50,” said CEO Dan Berkowitz in a statement. “Given developments, we can confirm that CID is no longer involved in Woodstock 50 in any capacity.”

The news about the loss of venue first came in a terse statement issued Monday afternoon by the raceway’s management: “Watkins Glen International terminated the site license for Woodstock pursuant to provisions of the contract. As such, WGI will not be hosting the Woodstock 50 Festival.”

Reps for the raceway did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment.

Tim O’Hearn, administrator for Schuyler County (where the raceway is located), said in a statement: “This comes as a major disappointment to us in that we looked forward to hosting this iconic event in our community. While today’s announcement is difficult to absorb, it is not completely unexpected, given the well-publicized delays related to this planned event. We commend Watkins Glen International for their actions, which we feel are in the overall best interest of the community.”

The announcement is the latest in a long series of setbacks for the anniversary festival, which has been marred by reports of financial and management problems since it was announced back in January. While those reports were initially quashed when the festival held a splashy press conference in March announcing a blockbuster lineup including Jay-Z, the Dead & Co., Miley Cyrus and many others, but then the ticket on-sale date was abruptly postponed as the necessary mass-gathering permit had not been obtained, and then the festival’s financial partner, Dentsu Aegis, abruptly pulled out late in April. Woodstock 50 and Dentsu have been embroiled in a legal battle ever since.

Nearly two months out from the festival’s scheduled dates, tickets still have not gone on sale. O’Hearn told Variety that the festival’s permit application was received months later than other festivals held at the raceway; tickets for such events are usually on-sale many months in advance.

Throughout, chief organizer Michael Lang, one of the promoters of the original 1969 festival, has insisted it will go forward. But with the widely publicized challenges the festival has faced, and few available sites in the area capable of hosting a weekend concert of upward of 70,000 fans — which is the latest estimate the festival provided to Watkins Glen management — this latest setback seems tough to overcome.

More Music

  • Wu Tang An American Saga Dollface

    Hulu Renews 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' and 'Dollface' for Season 2

    Hulu has renewed “Wu Tang: An American Saga” and “Dollface,” each for a second season. The former, created and written by Alex Tse and the RZA, is based on the formation of the Wu-Tang Clan. The first season explored the hip-hop group’s history and daily struggles of balancing its rising music career on the backdrop [...]

  • Lucian Grainge

    Universal Music Chief Lucian Grainge to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Lucian Grainge — chairman/CEO of Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company — will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next Thursday (Jan. 23). Fittingly, the ceremony will take place in front of the historic Capitol Records building; Capitol is one of the several Universal-owned labels under Grainge’s domain. Universal, recently [...]

  • Deborah Dugan Recording Academy Head

    Deborah Dugan’s Attorney Slams Grammys With Fiery Statement After Ouster

    Less than 12 hours after news broke that Deborah Dugan had been placed on administrative leave from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy, her attorney fired back with a statement. “What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told. When our ability to speak is not restrained by [...]

  • Recording Academy President/CEO Deborah Dugan participates

    Grammy Shocker: Deborah Dugan Ouster Was a ‘Coup,’ Insiders Say

    UPDATED: As the music industry reeled in the wake of Deborah Dugan’s sudden removal from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy on Thursday — a mere five months after she’d taken charge, and just ten days before the Grammy Awards — even insiders were stunned by the abruptness of the move and perplexed [...]

  • Alfred Hitchcock and Eminem covers

    Eminem Pays Homage to Alfred Hitchcock With 'Murdered' Album Cover and Title

    Eminem may not be the Master of Suspense: He just dropped his new album, “Music to Be Murdered By,” Thursday at midnight, without even milking it with any prior warning. But he appears to be a fan of Alfred Hitchcock anyway. The new set shares its title and cover concept with the one and only [...]

  • Mac Miller Circles Album Review

    Mac Miller's 'Circles': Album Review

    If you were cynical, you might think releasing a posthumous, pieced-together Mac Miller album 16 months after his passing from an accidental drug overdose would be just one more part of the current death march of releases from deceased young rappers with pleadingly emotive lyrics and sonically rock-ist edges. Like late Soundcloud emo-rappers such as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content