×

Woodstock 50 Officially Off

Woodstock 50 is officially off, multiple sources tell Variety. Vendors and stakeholders were notified this morning, July 31, that the beleaguered festival was not going on. The festival was originally scheduled for Aug. 16 through 18.

Yesterday it was reported that headliner Miley Cyrus had pulled out of the festival, joining the Raconteurs, the Lumineers and original Woodstock 1969 performers Santana, John Sebastian and Country Joe McDonald, all of whom since last night have said publicly that they’re not performing. Earlier, headliners Jay-Z and the Dead & Co., as well as John Fogerty, confirmed that they will not be performing.

The festival was supposed to take place at the Merriweather Post Pavilion outside Baltimore the weekend of Aug. 16 to 18, although a revised plan for a one-day show meant the concert would take place on either the Friday (for which the venue’s capacity is 20,000) or the Sunday (for which is it 32,000), because the Smashing Pumpkins are scheduled to perform their own show at the venue on Saturday, the 17th.

Update: A statement officially canceling Woodstock 50 was issued at 11:37am PT and includes a suggestion that the artists donate 10% of their already-paid fees to the charity HeadCount, a non-profit targeting voter registration which has registered nearly 600,000 voters at concerts and via its website, and has amassed more than 30,000 volunteers nationwide. 

Said Michael Lang, co-founder of Woodstock: “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. When we lost the Glen and then Vernon Downs we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel. We formed a collaboration with HeadCount to do a smaller event at the Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change. We released all the talent so any involvement on their part would be voluntary. Due to conflicting radius issues in the DC area many acts were unable to participate and others passed for their own reasons. I would like to encourage artists and agents, who all have been fully paid, to donate 10% of their fees to HeadCount or causes of their choice in the spirit of peace. Woodstock remains committed to social change and will continue to be active in support of HeadCount’s critical mission to get out the vote before the next election. We thank the artists, fans and partners who stood by us even in the face of adversity. My thoughts turn to Bethel and its celebration of our 50th Anniversary to reinforce the values of compassion, human dignity, and the beauty of our differences embraced by Woodstock.”

Added Greg Peck, principal of Woodstock 50: “The unfortunate dispute with our financial partner and the resulting legal proceedings set us off course at a critical juncture, throwing a wrench in our plans and forcing us to find an alternate venue to Watkins Glen. The timing meant we had few choices where our artists would be able to perform. We worked hard to find a way to produce a proper tribute—and some great artists came aboard over the last week to support Woodstock 50 — but time simply ran short.  We are greatly disappointed and thank all of our supporters, including the team at Merriweather Post Pavilion and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. Woodstock’s values of peace and tolerance are more important today than ever for all of us to stand for and we look to the future for ways to honor and celebrate these ideals.”

“While we were able to quickly eliminate the venue portion of the challenge to present Woodstock, it was just too late in the game,” said Seth Hurwitz of I.M.P. and operator of Merriweather Post. “Hopefully, with plenty of time to prepare, Merriweather will become the site of a future festival that captures the original vibe. A lot of people clearly wanted it to happen.”

More Music

  • American alternative rock band Pearl Jam

    Pearl Jam Tell Congressmen BOSS Ticket-Reform Act Is ‘Flawed’

    The BOSS Act is legislation designed to crack down on improper practices in the secondary ticket market — bots, price-gougers and the like — spearheaded by New Jersey Democratic Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone Jr. The bill, which is officially named the “Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act” and [...]

  • Sofar Sounds Unveils a Battery of

    Sofar Sounds Unveils a Battery of New Programs for Artists

    Sofar Sounds — which has made a name and a business for itself by staging “secret gigs and intimate concerts” featuring emerging artists for an invited, engaged audience — today unveiled a series of new programs intended to serve artists better, including a new payment model that will see artists paid more for playing bigger [...]

  • Cynthia Erivo performs "Stand Up" nominated

    Hollywood Bowl Slates Cynthia Erivo, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monae for Orchestral Shows

    The Hollywood Bowl’s 2020 summer schedule, announced Tuesday morning, includes a higher quotient than ever of pop acts doing orchestral-backed shows. Opening night performer Brandi Carlile, officially kicking off the season, June 13, will be backed by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, as will Fantasia and Babyface (July 10), Janelle Monae (July 17-18), Maxwell (July 19), [...]

  • Primus - Les ClaypoolRiver City Rockfest

    Primus to Honor Rush on ‘Tribute to Kings’ Tour

    Primus will pay homage to Rush this summer with “A Tribute to Kings,” a North American tour that will feature the Bay Area trio playing Rush’s classic 1977 album “A Farewell to Kings,” in its entirety, in addition to their own music. Rush’s influence on Primus is deep: The band’s 1989 debut release, the live “Suck on This” album, opens [...]

  • Ronnie James Dio Documentary Coming From

    Ronnie James Dio Documentary Coming From BMG (EXCLUSIVE)

    The next feature-length film from BMG will be the first-ever career-spanning documentary on legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio. Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest and most influential hard rock vocalists of all time, Dio fronted Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Elf, Heaven & Hell and his own eponymous band over the course of a [...]

  • Justin Bieber Changes album cover

    Following Lil Nas X, Justin Bieber Track Is Latest to Highlight Online Marketplace

    A shout-out on social media from Justin Bieber has brought some additional shine to Splice Sounds, the popular platform for rights-cleared sounds and beats. The track “Running Over,” from Bieber’s album “Changes” and featuring Lil Dicky, was produced by The Audibles and is based on a loop created by British artist Laxcity and uploaded to Splice. [...]

  • Ozzy Osbourne

    Ozzy Osbourne Cancels 2020 North American Tour to Undergo Medical Treatment

    Ozzy Osbourne has cancelled his 2020 North American “No More Tours 2” tour, his rep announced today, “to allow him to continue to recover from various health issues he has faced over the past year.” This decision was made to accommodate fans who’ve been holding tickets for rescheduled shows and have been asked to change plans, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content