Woodstock 50 loses NY site for anniversary music festival

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Woodstock 50

NEW YORK — The troubled Woodstock 50 music festival on Monday lost the site of a planned anniversary event in August, the latest setback for the weekend marking the famed 1969 "peace and music" festival.

The Aug. 16-19 festival was to have taken place at the Watkins Glen motor racing venue in upstate New York with a line-up including Jay-Z and Miley Cyrus.

On Monday, Watkins Glen said in a statement it had "terminated the site license for Woodstock pursuant to provisions of the contract. As such, (it) will not be hosting the Woodstock 50 Festival," the site owners said in a statement.

Watkins Glen did not say why it had decided to pull out.

Festival organizers did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did they say whether the event could find another venue two months before the scheduled date.

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 anniversary festival was thrown into chaos in April after the lead Japanese investors abruptly pulled out. It 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 gone on sale.

Woodstock 50 organizers said last month they had obtained new funding and expressed confidence that the show would go on.

Woodstock 50 announced in March that more than 80 musical acts, including 1969 festival veterans John Fogerty, Canned Heat and Santana, would take part. Some 100,000 fans, including campers, were originally expected to attend, but that number was later reduced to 60,000.

The nonprofit Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the current owner of the field where the 1969 Woodstock festival took place, has also scaled back plans for a three-day anniversary event. It said in February it will instead host separate concerts by Ringo Starr, Santana and the Doobie Brothers.

Watkins Glen has a larger crowd capacity and is some 150 miles (240 km) distant from Bethel and about 250 miles (400 km) north of New York City. — Reuters


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