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.