In what’s become a broken record for music journalists everywhere, Woodstock 50 was once again denied a permit to hold its event, slated for Aug. 16 to 18, as a daytime festival at Vernon Downs in upstate New York. Previous attempts to convince the town of Vernon, on June 18 and July 3, were rejected by the town’s planning committee, followed by a July 11 appeal.
“There is no history that would support the belief that crowds of 65,000 per day for three successive days could enter and leave Vernon Downs without creating chaos in and around the Village of Vernon,” reads a portion of the 29-page decision filing related to the “public health plan” Woodstock 50 submitted.
Among the many problematic issues laid out in the Woodstock 50 plan were executable plans for sewage, parking and road congestion, unclear methods related to traffic control, security and capacity, and disclaimers that effectively nullified promised action on the part of the organizers. Also listed as contacts were key personnel affiliated with Virgin Produced, which disassociated itself from the festival on July 16.
But most disconcerting to town officials was a mandated 120-day timeline. As of today, the festival’s proposed dates are less than a month away.
The Syracuse area venue with a capacity of 35,000 was the most recent proposed site for the troubled festival, which has been dogged by financial and organizational problems since it was announced in January. Woodstock 50 was scheduled to feature a blockbuster lineup including Jay-Z, Dead & Co., Miley Cyrus and many others. Its original financial backer, Dentsu Aegis, pulled out in May; Watkins Glen International speedway, followed last month.
Its last application to the town of Vernon on July 11 was denied unanimously. A plea to issue a permit was posted on Twitter that same day. It only received 91 retweets 10 days later.