Woodstock 50 Begs Locals After Permit Gets Denied


The outlook for Woodstock 50 is quite dim as their permit for Vernon Downs venue gets denied. Since the start of preparations for Woodstock 50, organizers have been entangled with multiple challenges. With the event being scheduled for next month, August 16-18th, many are wondering if the festival will still go on at this point. At this point, no venue has been confirmed, no tickets have been sold, and more lowered expectations have arisen.

Vernon Downs turns Woodstock down

Woodstock 50 has lost out on investors, Watkins Glen Venue, and now, Vernon has denied a permit for the festival. Woodstock has filed a formal appeal to the rejected permit on Tuesday, July 11th. Approximately 100 residents inundated Vernon town hall on Monday night to protest the festival. Promoters say the festival could bring 65,000 people to the small town of Vernon which has a population of 1,100. Vernon’s Town Codes Enforcement Officer, Jody Thieme also denied an application for a temporary event permit. Thieme states that festival organizers submitted an application two-months late, and did not provide enough information. Vernon Down’s owner, Jeff Gural, also stands by the fact that time is running out to put the festival together. Police officials have also stated that there won’t be enough time to prepare for traffic control and public safety.

Common sense will tell you we’re running out of time

Jeff Gural – Owner of Vernon Downs

“Woodstock 50 looks forward to formally presenting in person its application to the Town of Vernon at a meeting that officials agreed late Thursday to scheduled imminently, once they have had sufficient time to review our exhaustive plan,” 

Woodstock Festival Spokeperson

Vernon’s town planning board will have up to 30-days to consider the appeal. As of now, no further meetings have been scheduled, however, town Attorney Vincent Rossi is spearheading to arrange the meeting as quickly as possible. In the town meeting, many townsfolk voiced their concerns against Woodstock, saying it’s “a recipe for disaster” (Kevin Revere). Oneida County Sherrif Rob Maciol said that Woodstock 50 should take place in August 2020, not 2019.

“Residents at public hearing say they don’t want Woodstock in their backyard”

Woodstock Pleads For Peace, Love, Music

After losing investors (Dentsu) and their original venue (Watkins Glen), Woodstock organizers are scurrying to save their train from wrecking. Woodstock co-founder, Michael Lang, original investor, Greg Peck, and KAABOO producer, Jason Felts are working together to attempt to lead the festival out of its unfortunate, dissipating current position. Organizers made an appeal on Instagram, addressing a plead to the town of Vernon.

Consequently, if the town board sustains its position on denying permits, Woodstock 50 would be able to go to court. Would festival organizers really want to go through court hearings again though? They’ve already done that with their old investor, Dentsu, and were unsuccessful in acquiring the $18.5 million that they wanted back. Woodstock 50 already has big artists booked including acts like Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, The Killers, and more. Woodstock has also had headliners like, The Black Keys, drop out without explanation. Whatever Woodstock needs to do to make their 50th-anniversary show happen, they must move quickly. God speed.