Troubled 50th celebration festival to go on as a fundraiser
Woodstock 50 has been saved as it moves more than 250 miles from its original Upstate New York home to the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, about an hour outside of Washington, DC. Bloomberg obtained documents stating the festival will still be held during its anniversary weekend of August 16-18th at the outdoor venue that will accommodate about 32 thousand people, far less than the original 100 thousand that were predicted at the original 1969 Bethel, NY site.
“When we heard that there was an opportunity to save this festival and bring a piece of American history to our community this summer, we jumped at the chance,” Calvin Ball, the executive with Howard County, wrote in a note to Greg Peck, one of the organizers. “Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia is a jewel of Howard County and one of the top music venues in the nation. It felt like such a natural fit to host a historic festival on our storied stage.”
The documents Bloomberg obtained refers to the event as Woodstock 50 Washington and will now primarily serve as a fundraiser for nonprofits dedicated to climate change and voter turnout.
The Killers, Miley Cyrus, The Lumineers, The Raconteurs, Santana, Chance The Rapper, The Black Keys, Sturgill Simpson, Greta Van Fleet and more were all announced to perform over the festival’s 50th anniversary weekend, but are no longer contractually obligated to perform since the festival’s relocation. Organizers are aiming to charge $129 to $595 for one-day passes to the event although they are still in talks with artists and their representatives.
The Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration has been troubled since its announcement in January. Tickets did not go on sale as originally planned in March after organizers failed to obtain the proper permits for three day fest, causing original investor Dentsu Aegis Network to “cancel” the event.
In June, the Woodstock 50 team secured Oppenheimer & Co. as financial investor to complete the financing for the festival following a legal victory, after it was ruled that original investor Dentsu had no right to cancel the three day anniversary festival. However, organizers lost the initial Watkins Glen venue shortly thereafter, causing even more concern.
Representatives for the Merriweather Post Pavilion have yet to comment on the move. We’ll have more details as they become available.