Woodstock 50 festival back in limbo as site owners pull out of event

Watkins Glen International, the owners of the planned site in upstate New York for the Woodstock 50 festival, said on Monday they would no longer be hosting it, the latest setback for the troubled three-day event.

“Watkins Glen International terminated the site licence for Woodstock pursuant to provisions of the contract. As such, WGI will not be hosting the Woodstock 50 Festival,” the site owners said in a statement.

Woodstock 50 was planned for Aug. 16-19 at the Watkins Glen motor racing venue to mark the 50th anniversary of the famed 1969 Woodstock music festival.

Festival organizers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision by Watkins Glen, nor whether the event could go ahead elsewhere.

From left, comedy writer Alan Zweibel; HeadCount executive director Andy Bernstein; hip hop recording artist Common; Woodstock co-producer and co-founder, Michael Lang and musician John Fogerty participate in the Woodstock 50 lineup announcement at Electric Lady Studios, in New York in March. (Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated Press)

Woodstock 50 is backed by the co-producer of the original 1969 Woodstock festival, which was billed as “three days of peace and music” and is regarded as one of the pivotal moments in music history.

The festival, with a previously announced 80-act lineup that included rapper Jay-Z and pop singer Miley Cyrus, was thrown into chaos in April after the lead Japanese investors abruptly pulled out.

A couple of weeks later, a judge ruled it could go on, even without the event’s chief backer

The event has been plagued with other problems, including obtaining permits and arranging security and sanitation.

Tickets for the festival, expected to attract about 60,000 people, have not yet gone on sale.

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