Woodstock 50 Is Canceled After Many of the Performers Back Out


(Bloomberg) -- The organizers of the Woodstock 50th-anniversary festival canceled the event a week after its relocation to Maryland led many of the acts to back out.

“We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the festival we imagined,” the group said Wednesday in a statement.

The organizers ran up against daunting obstacles. They scrambled to save the festival after their main financier withdrew and local officials in upstate New York refused to approve a permit. Attempts to move it to different spots in the state -- home of the original 1969 concert -- also failed.

They settled last week on Aug. 16 through Aug. 18 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater in Columbia, Maryland. The venue could accommodate about 32,000 people.

Woodstock 50 Is Canceled After Many of the Performers Back Out

But changing locations meant artists including Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus and Halsey were no longer obligated to perform.

“Due to conflicting radius issues in the D.C. area many acts were unable to participate and others passed for their own reasons,” the group said.

The original festival attracted hundreds of thousands of people to a dairy farm in Bethel, New York. A who’s who of rock stars performed, including the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, the Who and Jimi Hendrix. A logistical disaster, it became synonymous with the hippie movement.

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