Published Apr 29, 2019After unveiling a lineup with JAY-Z, Chance the Rapper, the Raconteurs and many more back in March, the financial partner behind Woodstock 50 has announced that the festival is cancelled — though organizers are disputing this claim.
As Billboard reports, officials with Dentsu Aegis Network, which is funding the festival, made the cancellation announcement in a statement released earlier today.
"It's a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival," the statement reads. "But despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don't believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees."
The statement continues: "As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network's Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved."
However, Woodstock 50 organizers soon disputed the claims the festival had been cancelled. In a statement to Poughkeepsie Journal, a spokesperson said: "Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival's cancellation and legal remedy will [be] sought."
Woodstock's 50th anniversary festival was set to run from August 16 to 18 in Watkins Glen, NY. However, ticket sales were delayed and never actually happened, while the festival made headlines earlier this year due to claims festival acts were delayed payment.
In a follow-up Billboard story, the site points out it's currently unclear if financier Dentsu can unilaterally cancel the festival, but co-founder and producer Michael Lang would only say "we do not have a statement and are awaiting further advice."
That follow-up piece also states that just a few days ago, Woodstock 50 was looking to raise an additional $20 million USD in last-minute financing. According to Billboard, both AEG and Live Nation were asked about making that $20 million investment, but both companies declined to throw any money at the already troubled festival.
It's at that point that Amplifi Live — owned by Japanese media firm Dentsu — made the decision to issue a press release that Woodstock 50 was cancelled.
UPDATE (4/30, 12:45 a.m. EDT): Organizers behind the festival have now issued a full statement to the media, insisting the Woodstock 50 will still take place. It reads as follows:
We are committed to ensuring that the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock is marked with a festival deserving of its iconic name and place in American history and culture. Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will of course be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners. We would like to acknowledge the State of New York and Schuyler County for all of their hard work and support. The bottom line is, there is going to be a Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival, as there must be, and it's going to be a blast.
The fest was also set to feature the likes of Sturgill Simpson, the Black Keys, the Killers, Santana, Run the Jewels, Margo Price, boygenius, Vince Staples, Courtney Barnett, Halsey, Common, the Zombies, Robert Plant and more.