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Woodstock 50 is just getting worse and worse. Apart from venue troubles, the doomed music festival is continually seeing a decline of headliners. Just recently, Miley Cyrus, Sanatana, The Raconteurs and more have all announced that they’re no longer performing at the anniversary event. It’s another major blow to what would have been a milestone for one of the most important music festivals of all time. It all started when Woodstock 50 had to withdraw from holding the festival in Watkins Glen, New York due to their denied permits. The New York State Department of Health decided not to approve their applications due to the mass of people the festival intended to host. It became worse when Dentsu Aegis Network, their official financier, backed out of the event. Woodstock 50 organizers consequently tried to sue them but they didn’t win the case. So with no final venue and no official financial backing, booked artists started withdrawing from the event. 

John Fogerty, one of the headliners of the original 1969 music festival, was the first to officially cancel his appearance at Woodstock 50. “John Fogerty knows where he will be for the Anniversary weekend of Woodstock.  At only one site…At the original one – the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts,” his management shared to Billboard.com. The confusing venue changes forced him to withdraw from the event entirely. Billionaire rapper Jay-Z pulled-out right after, which was a major blow as he was slated to close-out the event himself. Now with no final act, all other artists followed in suit. Country Joe McDonald was even vocal about his decision to cancel his appearance at the doomed festival. “I have no airfare booked. I have no hotels. I have nothing planned. I’m not interested in getting on a ship that’s sinking, and I don’t see any indication that this ship is not sinking.” he stated. Meanwhile, Jack White, frontman of The Raconteurs, announced that the band will play at another event at the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, New York during the same time as Woodstock 50. Due to the schedule conflict, it’s mostly certain that they won’t perform at the anniversary event anymore. 

Prior to this, Woodstock 50 already paid these musical acts in full. It’s why when news first broke of their venue problems, none of them had canceled their appearances yet. But as time went by and the organizers failed to secure a final venue, all of them started withdrawing. Many of them noted that they only agreed to perform at the festival when it was still planned to place on Watkins Glen International. Also, news of possible free admission entry more than likely played in these artists’ decision to back out. Having failed to secure an official venue, Woodstock 50 was never able to sell tickets months before the event. 

For now, organizers are looking to hold Woodstock 50 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland. It’s still slated to run from August 16 to August 18, 2019. Image Credits:

  1. Miley Cyrus Featured Image – Yahoo.com
  2. Woodstock50 – 13wham.com
  3. Original Woodstock Music Festival – Rolling Stone.com