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Woodstock 50 organisers respond to investors' claims the festival has been cancelled

Woodstock 50 organisers have "vehemently denied" the festival has been cancelled, contradicting claims by the main financial backer.

Due to take place in Watkins Glen in New York from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th August 2019, the 50th anniversary celebration event announced its eclectic line-up last month with Dead & Company, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, John Fogerty, Greta Van Fleet and Rival Sons among the rock acts confirmed.

Among the many artists announced for the 100,000-capacity event from outside the rock sphere were Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons and Chance The Rapper.

Despite the line-up being unveiled, a planned Earth Day on sale earlier this month didn’t go ahead due to alleged permit issues.

Yesterday (Monday 29th April), Woodstock 50's chief funder, advertising giant Dentsu Aegis Network, announced the festival won’t be going ahead as planned.


The original Woodstock © Getty

They said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

In response, organisers last night refuted the claims, telling local newspaper the Poughkeepsie Journal: “Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival's cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought.”

Promoter Michael Lang, who also co-organised the original festival in 1969, told New York Times he was “caught by surprise” by the announcement and insisted Dentsu “does not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival.”

Woodstock 50 LLC later issued a statement, reading: “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.”

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