The final result of the Woodstock 50 roller coaster.
Following the development and description of Woodstock 50 has been quite tiring. It was initially announced, back in December, that there would be a three-day festival held on the grounds of the legendary festival in honor of the 50th anniversary. While the original festival was born from the anarchist spirit of rock n roll, the birthday event was intended to provide a variety of lines that modern festivals tend to have, including hip hop acts such as Jay Z, Chance the Rapper, Vince Staples and Earl Sweatshirt.
Woodstock 50 seemed suspicious from the start, because the original site had been leased for the weekend, forcing the festival to be located on the Watkins Glen International speedway. The festival was later advertised as an event for 100,000 people, when the production company, Superfly, insisted that the maximum capacity of the land was around 61,000. Ticket sales were then postponed because the artist started out and many were still waiting for payment. Investors start to withdraw money when the festival struggles to get the necessary permits. After a series of legal disputes, the event was canceled.
On July 26, Woodstock 50 attempted to hold fast to its final hopes by relocating the festival to Maryland as a free program, but with the artists released from their contracts, most of them were pulled out. The festival was officially canceled, again, a few days later.
However, some shows are still set to take place at the iconic park this weekend. Ringo Starr will begin celebrations at Bethel Woods’ open amphitheater on Thursday, Santana will be held on Friday and John Fogerty will perform on Saturday. Apart from the potential of these names to attract a large crowd of hippies, their number will be limited by the need to buy travel tickets to enter the park.
All the bureaucracy that now surrounds the Woodstock lands seems to be the cause of the 50 year anniversary of the dissolution of the festival. With traffic and politeness the main concern today, this park will not look like it was in 1969 this weekend.