Woodstock 50, the Obituary: RIP After a Fyre-y Death

Woodstock 50 passed away today at the age of 7 months, following a brave and very, very long battle with cancel.

The festival’s timely demise was confirmed in a statement from Sallie Hofmeister, who, as Harvey Weinstein’s publicist, has become a specialist in sensitive terminal cases.

The canceled gathering was preceded in death by Curveball, the three-day Phish festival that was canceled by the authorities in Watkins Glen in 2018 on similar grounds, and by Fyre Fest, although Woodstock 50’s parents refused to acknowledge any family resemblance.

The festival left behind a substantial inheritance benefitting dozens of survivors, with a will that provided for artists like Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, the Killers, Dead & Co., the Lumineers, Halsey, Robert Plant, Brandi Carlile and Cage the Elephant to all be given their contracted fees.

Although the birth announcement in January couldn’t have been more upbeat, it’s believed that the festival suffered from congenital defects from the start, given the signs of aimlessness and eventually severe psychiatric illness seen in older siblings Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99. Still, spin doctors went to extraordinary lengths to keep Michael Lang’s youngest offspring alive far longer than anyone expected. “It’s going to be a blast,” Lang promised, watching through a hospital window as concert-biz physicians induced a medical coma in hopes of possibly moving the patient.

It was Lang’s contention that malpractice by Dentsu Aegis was at the root of Woodstock 50’s short life. Others have contended the festival actually died of a broken heart from being so friendless from the start. Even if Woodstock 50 had gotten the clean bill of health from authorities that ultimately eluded it, it’s unclear how productive a life it could have had: Long travel distances, an almost certainly high cost of attendance, a nearly infrastructure-free location and, not least of all, a fatally fractured musical identity may have doomed any attempt to actually put tickets on sale and crowdsource the festival back to health.

Last-ditch attempts to deal a mercy killing to Woodstock 50’s original concept in order to manually reincarnate it as a free Imagine Dragons TV charity concert were, of course, unsuccessful.

With the entire world plum worn out from Woodstock 50’s protracted hospice care, no services are planned. However, the iHeartRadio Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival have agreed to sit shiva.

More Voices

  • Olivia Wilde Booksmart BTS

    Olivia Wilde on Her Move From Acting to Directing With 'Booksmart'

    Olivia Wilde began acting in 2004 when she was 20 years old. It never occurred to her that she might also enjoy stepping behind the lens. “I always wanted to make movies and be a part of the moviemaking process,” she tells me. “I always assumed acting was the way in, because for many young [...]

  • Oscar Statue Oscars Placeholder

    Oscars 2020 Predictions: Who Will Get Nominated?

    The Oscar race is on. And it’s about to get a lot more intense when the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announces the nominations for the 92nd Oscars on Jan. 13. Golden Globes shutout “The Irishman” is favored to earn several nods, as will “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which went home [...]

  • Golden Globes Analysis Oscar Race

    Why Golden Globes Will Likely Have Little Effect on Oscar Nominations (Column)

    With the Globes now behind us and Oscar noms rapidly approaching on Jan. 13, what should we be paying attention to in Hollywood’s biggest film awards race? Surefire bets are Globe winners Renée Zellweger (“Judy”), who already has one Oscar, and Brad Pitt, who should garner his third acting nomination for his work in Quentin [...]

  • Renee Zellweger "Judy" Pathe

    Golden Globes Predictions: Who Will Win in the Film Categories?

    With the Golden Globes just around the corner, there’s only one thing that seems inevitable: Renée Zellweger will win for best actress in the drama category when the awards are handed out on Jan. 5. Besides that, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. can go in so many different directions, as the Globes are arguably the [...]

  • Joe Talbot Jimmie Fails Last Black

    Want a Career in the Arts? Build a Community (Guest Column)

    Last November, 400,000 writers from around the world agreed to spend a month with their friends writing novels. They met in libraries and cafés, cheered on by 1,000 volunteers. One writer, a 20-year-old college student, recently signed a two-book publishing deal. Previous novelists have had their books turned into Hollywood movies. And it wasn’t just [...]

  • Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet in

    Can 'Little Women' Recover for Oscars After SAG Nominations Shutout?

    Where in the world was “Little Women”? That was the big question this morning when the 2020 SAG Award nominations were announced. Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the classic novel was completely shut out by Wednesday’s nominations. It comes on the heels of “Little Women” snagging just two Golden Globe noms for Saoirse Ronan for lead [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content