I’ve been wondering what Woodstock’s 50th anniversary festival might look like since news broke in December that one was in the works for this summer. On Tuesday, organizers finally announced the lineup, and it is... not what I expected.
Indeed, Woodstock 50—planned for August 16, 17, and 18 in Watkins Glen, New York location—seems less invested in spreading the message of peace and love and more invested in cramming every single major musical act and Imagine Dragons onto one poster. Miley is playing? And also Maggie Rogers? And Chance the Rapper? And Halsey? And Jay-Z? And Santana? Santana’s coming back to Woodstock?
As a festival on the whole, I don’t have any problem with this lineup, and I just saw that Janelle Monáe and Boygenius are on the roster for Sunday, so now I must set an alert for ticket sales. The 1999's Woodstock had Korn and Dave Matthews Band (in addition to quite a few reported incidents of sexual assault), so this is a major upgrade.
But it does seem more like a standard corporate Coachella-type situation than the original Woodstock’s intended Summer of Love free-for-all, which probably captures the spirit of 2019 just right. Can’t wait to see the merch! $50 Woodstock 50 commemorative S’well bottles, anyone?
It’s also noteworthy that this is but one of two Woodstock concerts planned for this summer—there will also be an anniversary celebration at Woodstock’s original site in Bethel Woods, New York sometime in August, though no lineup or specific date has been announced yet.