Woodstock 50 was supposed to bring the biggest names in music together for three days to recreate the magic of the original in 1969. The 50th anniversary event was the brainchild of Michael Lang, who was behind the first Woodstock festival, and who had presumably learned a few things since then. But after a series of setbacks, the hastily-organized festival was officially canceled Wednesday.
Many who have been following the months-long rollercoaster ride that was Woodstock 50 were probably also not surprised. The planned three-day event was announced in January featuring headliners like Jay-Z, the Black Keys, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Miley Cyrus, and dozens more but was plagued with problems and controversy from the start. Over the last six months, Woodstock 50 lost its original financial backer, its production teams, and its first and second planned venues (Watkins Glen and Vernon Downs in New York State).
Even after it had shifted to another state — to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland — questions remained: Which headliners would stick with it? Would the show be free and, if so, how would tickets be distributed? By Tuesday, many of its headliners, including Cyrus, Dead and Co., John Fogerty, and the Raconteurs, had pulled out, organizers had yet to file a permit application with Maryland officials and the festival appeared to be doomed.
Read the story of Woodstock 50 as it stands now in an interview with Lang at Rolling Stone.
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