Heavily hyped Woodstock 50 canceled after string of setbacks

The August festival planned for New York, and later Washington, was to mark the anniversary of the historic 1969 event.

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Woodstock_Baby.jpg

A crowd takes in the music at the original Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in 1969.

AP

NEW YORK — Woodstock 50, once touted as “three days of peace, love and music,” starring Jay Z, Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus and other superstars, is officially canceled.

Organizers announced Wednesday that the troubled festival that hit a series of setbacks in the last four months won’t take place next month.

The three-day festival was originally scheduled for Aug. 16-18, but holdups included permit denials and the loss of a financial partner and a production company.

Last week Jay-Z, Dead & Company and John Fogerty announced they wouldn’t perform at the event after organizers said it was moving to Maryland from New York.

”We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the festival we imagined with the great lineup we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating,” festival co-founder Michael Lang said in a statement Wednesday. “We released all the talent so any involvement on their part would be voluntary. Due to conflicting radius issues in the DC area many acts were unable to participate and others passed for their own reasons.”

Before the cancellation, organizers had said they were planning to make Woodstock 50 a free benefit concert at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Lang announced the 50th anniversary event in March alongside Fogerty and rapper-actor Common, two acts that were to perform.

Other artists who were booked for the festival included the Killers, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, Chance the Rapper, Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, David Crosby, Janelle Monae, Brandi Carlile and Halsey.

Though that event has been canceled, Woodstock will still celebrate its anniversary: Ringo Starr, Santana and Fogerty will perform at Woodstock’s original site in Bethel, New York, in a smaller anniversary event at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts not connected to Woodstock 50.

The original Woodstock, a festival pushing the message of peace, love and music, was a seminal, groundbreaking event in 1969 that featured performances by Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Joan Baez, the Who and other iconic acts.

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