Update 7/31/19 4:12 p.m.: After multiple artist pulled out of the festival along with it moving to a different state, the 50th anniversary of the iconic festival in music history is officially cancelled.
Jay-Z pulled out of the 50th anniversary Woodstock festival just weeks before the event is supposed to take place, a source close to the hip-hop mogul confirmed Friday.
What We Know:
- Hov was set to close out the three-day event that was scheduled for Aug. 16 through Aug. 18—50 years after the original celebration of “Peace, Love and Music.”
- The event—which has had major financial and legal setbacks over the years—was supposed to take place at three main stages at Watkins Glen International Speedway in upstate New York, about 115 miles northwest of the original Woodstock grounds. However, it was reported that the venue was canceled. Bloomberg reported that the event will now take place at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland and will accommodate about 32,000 people.
- The festival’s co-founder Michael Lang announced the line-up in March which included Jay-Z, Dead & Company, the Killers, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons and Chance the Rapper. However, it’s not clear if those headliners decided to pull out. As of now, it was reported that John Fogerty, who performed at the original 1969 festival with Creedence Clearwater Revival, pulled out of the anniversary event.
- Bill Werde, the former editorial director of Billboard, said the artists can back out due to the location change. “Most booking contracts are site specific, so with the move to Maryland I think in all probability these artists have easy-outs. And looking at the debacle that this festival has been, I would really be surprised if a lot these artists, if not all of them, didn’t start exercising those outs.”
- The event is now being marketed as a benefit concert with the proceeds from ticket sales going to HeadCount, which works on voter registration, and other causes. Ticket prices may range from $129 to $595 for one-day passes.
The event became a part of American history during the hippy movement of the 1960s and attracted hundreds of thousands of people to a dairy farm in Bethel, New York. “For the sake of the legacy of Woodstock, I kind of wish they would stop. It’s like watching a boxer who just won’t stay down when he really should,” Werde said.