Much like the common cold, Woodstock 50 just won't go away. To recap: After revealing a lineup that left something to be desired, concerns grew with a promised ticket onsale date came and went with no ticketing announcement. Then, the promoters funding the festival announced the fest was canceled and they were pulling funding. Woodstock creator Michael Lang pushed back and even went to court. The court ruled that the funders were not allowed to cancel the fest but were absolutely allowed to take back their nearly $18 million in funding.
Lang persisted, promised new funding would be gotten and the show would go on. Except, then the new funders pulled out. The promoters still tried to secure another venue and that brings us to today.
The festival, by the way, is scheduled to happen (yea, okay) on August 16th – 18th, so just over a month away. The promoters applied for a permit at Vernon, NY casino and horse racing site Vernon Downs – even though that venue is smaller than the original venue and is not made for camping. Woodstock promoters promised instead of a three day event, it would be three separate events, with the crowd leaving the venue after each show. Local officials, wisely, realized such a plan would be cause for a lot of chaos and were not interested in a repeat of what happened in 1999.
“We could have done this with a year or 16 months advance [planning],” Oneida County Administrator Anthony Picente Jr. said, “but to do it in three to six weeks is really a near impossibility from a public safety and health standpoint. As someone who as here for 1999, some names have changed but it’s largely the same situation.”
The promoters have five days to appeal the ruling but Picente noted “what they have submitted to date has not met many of the requirements” and its highly unlikely the festival would take place in Oneida County.
Basically, all the local government officials think that 39 days is not enough to plan all the security measures for a festival that would have around 65,000 people in attendance.
Woodstock 50 LLC president Greg Peck did not seem deterred:
"We understand the public safety and traffic concerns of the local community. We have been working diligently over the last several weeks to secure the permits needed to hold the festival, and will continue to work with Law Enforcement and Public Safety Officials to present a cohesive safety and traffic plan that will be satisfactory in addressing the concerns. We appreciate the honest feedback from the Town of Vernon and will continue to address their comments as we enter the final planning phases for Woodstock 50. We are confident that this careful planning and consideration of community concerns will result in a safe, world-class Festival."
The cherry on top is a new statement from the Woodstock promoters to Syracuse.com saying “Woodstock 50 believes certain political forces may be working against the resurrection of the festival.” Yeah, that's definitely it.