Woodstock 50 Gets Third Rejection As Producer Pulls Out


As an iconic festival, Woodstock 50 is in the midst of a slow, agonizing, and embarrassing death. The city of Vernon, New York has denied Woodstock’s third appeal towards a permit to hold the festival. Just last week, organizers begged town locals to “let peace, love, and music prevail,” but instead faced even more rejection. As if losing the final venue just a month away from the event is bad enough, Woodstock 50 team’s advisors have also left the building. Virgin Produced “has officially concluded its consulting role with respect to the company and the proposed festival.”

Denied and Still Denied

After battling several debacles, the 50th anniversary of Woodstock isn’t looking good at all. Festival organizers have been holding on tight to their seats on an imminently derailing train thus far. From losing producers, investors, and venues, the scheduled August 16th-18th event looks uncertain that it will continue. Initially planning to be held at Watkins Glen, Woodstock advertised headliners like Jay-Z and Miley Cyrus. They’ve also had a couple of artists drop out (The Black Keys) during the process of their agonizing breakdown. Virgin Produced’s CEO Jason Felts cited, “Despite our formidable effort to assist Michael Lang and the Woodstock 50 ownership in resurrecting their NY festival, it has become apparent that time has expired.

Woodstock Braces for Impact

Following Vernon’s Tuesday night meeting, Event organizers somberly lament, “[We’re] disappointed that the Town of Vernon has passed up the opportunity to hold the historic 50th Anniversary Festival by denying our robust and thoughtful proposal.” Stating this in past tense on late Tuesday evening, festival organizers allude that their efforts to continue the event are seemingly over. Original organizer, Michael Lang, remarks his disappointment when asked if he’d continue to try and hold the festival. “I’m disappointed. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy and I knew that the town supervisor, frankly, was really behind this position… I won’t try here again,” says Lang. Lang also told Poughkeepsie Journal, “If it doesn’t work this year, it doesn’t work this year. We’ve tried everything we can. We’ve done our best.”

Woodstock 50 organizer Michael Lang confers with partner Susan Cronin during a break in the Vernon Planning Board meeting of July 16, 2019. (Photo: John W. Barry/Poughkeepsie Journal)
Woodstock 50 organizer Michael Lang, right, listens during the Vernon Planning Board meeting of July 16, 2019. (Photo: John W. Barry/Poughkeepsie Journal)

We regret that those in Vernon who supported Woodstock have been deprived of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the rebirth of a cultural peace movement that changed the world in 1969 and is what the world needs now. We want to thank the artists who stood by us. We are grateful for the support of Vernon Downs and its generous owner Jeffrey Gural.”

Woodstock 50 Organizers