Woodstock 50 Ticket Sale Delayed

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The ticket on-sale date for the upcoming Woodstock 50 festival in Watkins Glen, N.Y., has been delayed. And depending on the rumor mill, it could be for a variety of reasons.

Music industry trade publication Hits reported on April 19 that Danny Wimmer Presents, a music festival production and promotion company, had told talent agents for the festival, “There is currently a hold on the Woodstock 50 on-sale date. We are waiting on an official press statement from Woodstock 50 regarding updated announce, ticket pricing, and overall festival information. We will get this information to you as soon as we receive it.”

Tickets were expected to go on sale on Monday, Earth Day, April 22. Prices have not yet been revealed.

Hollywood trade paper Variety wrote on April 19 that sources had said the delay was due to permit clearances for the site.

Rumors of the festival’s demise were so rampant that its organizer, Michael Lang, told Billboard, also on April 19, “Woodstock is a phenomenon that for fifty years has drawn attention to its principles and also the rumors that can be attached to that attention.” As for its being cancelled, Lang called them “just more rumors.”

Earlier, hoping to quell the fears of nervous local residents, the organizers of the upcoming festival held what was described as a public information session in Watkins Glen on March 27.

Although the racetrack site has been home to many large-scale events, including a 1973 festival that featured the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and The Band, which drew an estimated 600,000 attendees, locals have expressed fears that the crowd for the planned August event could cause havoc. They cited reports from a 1999 Woodstock anniversary event, where violent acts occurred and fires were set on the grounds. Residents were also apprehensive about  the possibility of large numbers of unticketed fans showing up hoping to gain entry, which also happened at previous Woodstock concerts.

Lang, one of the promoters of the original 1969 Woodstock, assured residents that his team is better equipped to handle any problems than they were 20 years ago. He said that he had spoken with presenters of other large festivals, who gave him tips on how to control crowds and avoid potentially negative issues.

“We were the only show in town, people came from all over the world. It’s a very different world now, there are festivals in every city in America,” Lang told the assembled residents at the March 27 meeting.

Lang pointed out that he was careful to book artists who are unlikely to incite fans to riot. He said that 80 acts in all have been booked for Woodstock 50, that the crowd size will be limited to 100,000 people and that campsite sales will be capped at 27,000, with a limit of four people per campsite. Lang added that campers’ vehicles will be searched for prohibited materials, and that security personnel will have a strong presence at the event. He said that some 1,100 security personnel have been hired, and that local law enforcement officers will also be on-site to keep things under control. Healthcare personnel will also be available on-site.

In other news regarding the festival, Lang said that single-day tickets will not be sold, only packages covering the entire three-day event. No date was given for the on-sale date, nor have fees been announced.

The organizers of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair revealed on March 19 the lineup of the official 50th anniversary festival, including several performers – John Fogerty and Santana, among them – who appeared at the original 1969 festival. Woodstock 50 will be held August 16, 17 and 18, 2019, in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Headlining the event are The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters and Santana on Aug. 16, Dead and Company and Chance the Rapper on Aug. 17, and Jay-Z and Imagine Dragons on Aug, 18.

Many of the names, Dead and Company, Santana and Cyrus, among them, had been leaked in early March.

Just prior to the March 19 announcement, Cyrus tweeted, “Woodstock here I come!”

Among the other Woodstock 50 performers who famously played the ’69 festival are David Crosby, Melanie, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian and Canned Heat. Hot Tuna’s Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady played in ’69 as part of Jefferson Airplane. Amy Helm’s father, Levon Helm, performed at the original with The Band.

Other acts performing at the 50th anniversary concert include The Lumineers, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Courtney Barnett, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlie, Greta Van Fleet, the Zombies and Gary Clark Jr.

Watch Santana perform at the 1969 festival

The Black Keys announced in April that they had bowed out of the festival due to “a scheduling conflict.”

Classic rock fans may recall that the location in upstate New York is famous for previous rock festivals including a 1973 event that featured the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and The Band.

In an interview with The New York Times, published Jan. 9, Michael Lang, who co-created Woodstock along with Artie Kornfeld, said, “Coachella’s got its thing, as does Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. But I think they’re all missing an opportunity to make a difference in the world. They’re all perfect places for social engagement and for fostering ideas, and I think that’s lost.”

On Dec. 27, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, site of Woodstock ’69 in Bethel, N.Y., announced plans to produce a three-day event on the identical weekend. It’s since been scaled down significantly, with separate concerts on each day.

“While the original site in Bethel remains close to our hearts,” Lang said in a prepared statement in late December, “it no longer has the capacity to hold a real Woodstock festival.

“I’m delighted that Bethel Woods is doing events in the coming year to celebrate what we brought to life in 1969 and I encourage people to visit the museum and concert venue.”

Related: Ringo, Santana and others will perform at the Bethel Woods event

As Best Classic Bands announced in July 2018, PBS and American Experience will air a new two-hour documentary, Woodstock, scheduled to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. It’ll have its TV premiere on PBS in conjunction with the 50th anniversary. The film is directed by Barak Goodman, and written by Goodman and Don Kleszy.

Related: Woodstock ’69 performers – Where are they now?

Best Classic Bands has been celebrating the greatest rock festival of all-time with a series of feature articles including Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” – Behind the Song, interviews with all members of Jefferson Airplane, and Melanie’s recollections, among them.

Best Classic Bands will continue to update this story.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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16 Comments so far

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  1. Woodstock
    #1 Woodstock "69" Rocks On 20 March, 2019, 01:13

    Woodcrock 2019.
    OMG, if Lang & Partners pull this off it will be the biggest scam of the 21st century. So let’s recap, about 5% of the original musicians will be there, another 10% are musicians we’ve heard of but weren’t even born in 1969 & the other 85% are bands/musicians we’ve never heard of. Wow, Bill Graham just screamed yelled loud as hell from his grave like he used to. The best part is yet to come…..Yes, the price? I figure about a “C” note ($100) for the 3 days of unheard of music. After spending 70 years on this planet I will share some good old wisdom. STAY HOME!
    It’s going to be a mess, folks & for what? Miley Cyrus & Chance the Rapper? Nope, not me.

    Reply this comment
    • Cosmo
      Cosmo 24 March, 2019, 00:52

      The worst lineup ever! You’re right….who are these groups? Never heard of most of them. Earl Sweatshirt & Boygenius…..WTF.
      Lang & Partners are ripoff artists & they should cancel this bullsheet show.. WTF LANG?

      Reply this comment
    • Sandy
      Sandy 29 March, 2019, 00:38

      I was there in 1969 & I agree with the above comment. Stay home coz it’s gonna suck in every way.

      Reply this comment
    • Bill Z
      Bill Z 30 March, 2019, 01:26

      In reply to the geezers who hate the line-up (I’m 63, by the way): the original Woodstock was aimed toward young people. It featured bands that were familiar to people in their twenties and unfamiliar to people in their sixties and seventies. Older people had no idea who Country Joe was, and the great majority of the people at the festival had no idea who Santana was. They hadn’t released their first LP yet. You all make yourselves look so foolish and irrelevant when you shake your wrinkled fists and moan about how you don’t recognize the artists. You’ve become your parents and grandparents. “Jefferson Airplane?? Who are they?? Now Frank Sinatra, there’s a true musician!!”

      Hey, I mostly prefer older music too, but I have enough perspective to realize that you’re all coming off like Granny Clampett.

      Reply this comment
      • Mare
        Mare 20 April, 2019, 16:10

        Then call it Coachella East and not Woodstock.

        Reply this comment
      • EZYRIDER
        EZYRIDER 21 April, 2019, 00:27

        Bill Z,
        In reply to your reply, yes, we knew all the bands that were at WS 69 but my parents who were in their 60 at the time, knew Joe Cocker, Santana, Melanie, Canned Heat, Hendrix, Johnny Winter, etc, etc, etc. You know why? Coz I blasted that music from my room and they heard it. My kids are both talented musicians & one played on one track of a Van Halen album & they have no idea who half these musicians are. Your statement is about 20% valid. The truth is, 75% of the bands playing WS2019 are nobodies. There’s not even any bands from WS90’s like NIN, AIC, Living Colour, etc. This is a case of Michael Lang trying to catch.ightening in a bottle which will never happen again. He’s doing it for $$$$ with the aid of Corporate America. It’s gonna suck just like all the others except the original…..

        Reply this comment
  2. omstrat
    #2 omstrat 20 March, 2019, 05:51

    Jay-Z you have to be kidding me ..Why is that garbage included in a Woodstock Festival ?

    Reply this comment
    • Sandy
      Sandy 24 March, 2019, 00:46

      Omstrat, you’re right. This is the worst lineup of non performers to be put together. I was at the original & it was amazing because no one expected such a turn out of people. This tribute is a mock to the original concert. Jay Z & Miley Cyrus on the same stage as Santana or The Dead? This is a corporate ripoff put together by Lang & partners for money. They don’t care about music, never did & never will. The town better hire 1000’s of cops coz I think there will be riots & fires like the concert in the 90’s. I also agree with the comment above your comment. Everybody, STAY HOME !!!!

      Reply this comment
    • WW
      WW 29 March, 2019, 10:51

      Jay-Z and Chance The Rapper are “unlikely to incite fans to riot”? Really? That remains to be seen (hopefully a riot will not be seen).

      Reply this comment
  3. JCB
    #3 JCB 20 March, 2019, 08:03

    Chance the Rapper? He would have been laughed off the stage in 1969. Why? because he’s not even a musician. He rhymes words, and very poorly, that isn’t music, it’s garbage.

    Reply this comment
  4. KENNIEE
    #4 KENNIEE 22 March, 2019, 19:40

    WHERE’S MOUNTAIN???

    Reply this comment
    • Jeff Tamarkin
      Jeff Tamarkin 23 March, 2019, 16:25

      Mountain doesn’t exist anymore. Leslie West still performs but for whatever reason he isn’t booked for this festival.

      Reply this comment
    • Ezyrider
      Ezyrider 24 March, 2019, 00:55

      Leslie West has had diabetes all his life & had one of his legs amputated from the knee down so I don’t expect him to be playing with these no name performers.

      Reply this comment
  5. Ezyrider
    #5 Ezyrider 24 March, 2019, 01:05

    2019 WOODSTOCK SCAM:
    Someone tell me I’m having a bad trip coz I don’t know 3/4 of the bands that may show up to this mess. Someone should warn the community & police that there may be riots at this show. Classic Rock with Pop & Rap is a menu for disaster times 10. Stay home & stay alive. Jail Lang & Partners.for selling out again to the corporate machine!

    Reply this comment
  6. REMEMBER THIS CRITIQUE
    #6 REMEMBER THIS CRITIQUE 29 March, 2019, 00:35

    REMEMBER THIS CRITIQUE: Lang is at If again. The story above states that Lang has spoken to many people regarding crowd control and that’s why he picked the groups himself. What a bunch of BS. On top of that, he stated that he doesn’t expect more than 100K attendees. LMFAO, he said the same thing in “69” & 500K people crashed the gates. The towns mayor & the people living in the town better get their sheet together & cancel this concert. No one will make money except Lang. Remember in “69” Lang said the concert was a bust & they lost all monies but Lang walked away with over $1M which is like $15M in today’s money. Wake up NY State. You’re going to get ripped off by Lang & Partners again. This is not a tribute to Woodstock, it’s another chance for Lang to cash in at everyone else’s expense. To top it off, it’s the worst festival band lineup ever put together. REMEMBER THIS CRITIQUE….

    Reply this comment
  7. SAVE WATKINS GLEN FROM VIOLENCE
    #7 SAVE WATKINS GLEN FROM VIOLENCE 21 April, 2019, 00:43

    OMG, the poor people of Watkins Glen are going to regret giving Lang & Partners a permit for this money grubbing riotous sheetshow. WATKINS GLEN….WAKE UP, PLEASE. Lang is asking a few original members of WS69 to participate so he can sell tickets. The fact that he’s adding pop (Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande) with rock (Santana, Dead & Co) with Hip Hop (Jay Z, Chance The Rapper) is the perfect blend for a 300,000 person riot. They will need the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force & National Guard present to TRY to maintain order. I predict fights, riots, weapons & worse at this show. If you want to be 100% safe, STAY HOME. This is not PEACE , LOVE & MUSIC. THIS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER. My kids don’t want to go, as do many others. PEOPLE, STAY AWAY FROM THIS RIOT

    Reply this comment

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