Michael Lang Declares Woodstock 50 Officially Canceled
After months of changing venues, artists dropping out and even back-and-forth lawsuits, Woodstock 50 has been canceled. Michael Lang, one of the original 1969 event’s founders who has become the face of the Woodstock 50 camp amid the organizers’ many tribulations, confirmed the decision to Rolling Stone today, following a number of big-name dropouts from the lineup.
“We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating,” Lang says. “When we lost the Glen and then Vernon Downs we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel. We formed a collaboration with HeadCount to do a smaller event at Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change.”
As Lang notes, Woodstock 50 was originally set for Watkins Glen, NY, then for Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY, most recently attempting to salvage a one-day event at Maryland’s Merriweather Post Pavilion.
All acts who were on the original ambitious lineup announced back in March have reportedly been paid in full but were subsequently released from any contract obligations. In his statement, Lang encourages the musicians to donate 10% of their fees to Woodstock 50 partner and voter registration/community organizing non-profit HeadCount, “in the spirit of peace.”
“Woodstock remains committed to social change and will continue to be active in support of HeadCount’s critical mission to get out the vote before the next election,” Lang continues. “We thank the artists, fans and partners who stood by us even in the face of adversity. My thoughts turn to Bethel and its celebration of our 50th Anniversary to reinforce the values of compassion, human dignity, and the beauty of our differences embraced by Woodstock.”