Woodstock 50 might be canceled, but also, maybe not! It really depends on who you ask.
According to Billboard, officials with the festival’s funders, Dentsu Aegis Network, released a statement that pretty clearly stated that the festival was not gonna happen. Read it for yourself:
“It’s a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival. But 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.”
Sounds pretty definitive, as did the announcement from Schuyler County administrator Tim O’Hearn, who told reporters he had been notified that “the event is canceled at this point.” He added that the Chamber of Commerce “has been trying to salvage something from the fallout of this decision,” though he did not add whether those efforts would be successful.
But Michael Lang, the event’s promoter, released a statement to the Poughkeepsie Journal insisting that everything is GOING JUST FINE, despite having blown past the planned ticket sale date and, as of now, not secured the required permits.
“Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival’s cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought,” it read, adding:
“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.”
You’d think maybe Fyre Festival would have taught everyone a valuable lesson about the importance of having your shit together before throwing a major festival, but so much the better for the news cycle if this turns into a disaster. After all, it does have a rich history of mayhem to live up to—Woodstock ‘69 was a shitshow in a muddy, druggy way; Woodstock ‘99 was a shitshow in a much more sinister, sexual assault-y way.
Maybe this shitshow—which is slated to involve everyone from Jay-Z to Halsey—is actually a well-coordinated viral marketing strategy, in which case, bury me in a mud avalanche.