By Jem Aswad
LOS ANGELES (Variety) – The organizers of the Woodstock 50 anniversary festival — scheduled for Aug. 16-18 in Upstate New York and headlined by Jay-Z, Dead & Company, Miley Cyrus and others — have issued a statement on the delay in the event’s ticket on-sale date , which was originally scheduled for Monday but was abruptly postponed over the weekend.
“ has delayed its on-sale while we refine logistical plans for what we anticipate will be an amazing Festival in August at Watkins Glen, New York,” the statement, attributed to the Woodstock 50 partnership, reads. “We want to thank the media and the public for their patience and support. We are continuing to build out incredible experiences across the Festival weekend.” The statement concludes by saying, “Ticket on sale information will be available through Woodstock.com in the coming days.”
Sources close to the situation tell Variety the delay is due to the mass-gathering permit required for the festival, which Tim O’Hearn, administrator for New York’s Schuyler County (where the festival site is located), says was received weeks later than officials would have preferred.
He noted that the festival’s expected audience was lowered to 75,000 from an earlier estimate of 102,000. That estimate was provided by the festival’s promoters.
Michael Lang, a key organizer of the festival (and a producer of the original 1969 Woodstock), responded late Friday to media reports speculating that the festival was in trouble with the following statement: “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. Just more rumors.”
The festival’s top-billed artists have been paid in advance, a source tells Variety, with the money being held in escrow.
Also included in the lineup are Imagine Dragons, Halsey, the Raconteurs, Robert Plant and the Sensational Shapeshifters, Run the Jewels, Gary Clark Jr., Cage the Elephant, Greta Van Fleet, Janelle Monae, Brandi Carlile, Maggie Rogers, Margo Price, Sturgill Simpson, Portugal the Man, Dawes, the Lumineers, Bishop Briggs, Pussy Riot, Courtney Barnett, Leon Bridges, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, John Fogerty, Common, Young the Giant and the Zombies. The bill also includes more than a half-dozen artists who performed at the original 1969 festival: Santana, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Sebastian, CSNY’s David Crosby, Melanie, Country Joe McDonald and Canned Heat. The acts will perform on three stages, dubbed the Peace Stage, Love Stage and Music Stage, the three keywords used in key art for the original fest.
The Woodstock 50th anniversary is being produced under license from Woodstock Ventures, which was founded by Lang with original festival co-founders Joel Rosenman and the late John Roberts; Artie Kornfeld, who co-produced the 1969 event, is rejoining the team for Woodstock 50.