Organisers are still upbeat but the future of festival to distinguish affairs anniversary is increasingly uncertain
It was legislation as the musical event of the summer, a chance to remember a defining moment of the counterculture advance that took place in a field in upstate New York half a century ago.
But just three months away from Woodstock 50, at which Jay-Z, The Killers and Miley Cyrus are supposed to be performing, contrives are in disarray as happening organisers battle their monetary sponsors in a substantial streak of tribunal challenges.
The event, which is due to be held 150 miles from the original site for three days in the middle of August, has been in jeopardy ever since the Japanese insurance giant Dentsu Aegis attracted the plugon $30 m of approval in April.
A series of subsequent court orders first found that Dentsu Aegis did not have the right to cancel the event, and subsequently that commemoration organisers could not stop their former monetary backer from being involved in the planning the event.
If nothing else, the legal theatres play around in field are in the spirit of Woodstock’s previous manifestations in 1969, 1994 and 1999, differentiated respectively by love, mud and violence.
There’s little certainty it will, however, despite new financing, and tickets have yet to go on sale.
Meanwhile, after a series of organisational changes and conceptual rethinks, a small-scale festival to be held at the original locate of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, New York, appears to be going ahead, with Ringo Starr, Santana and John Fogerty headlining.
But as each happening debates to rekindle the spirit of 69, the unhappiness of both have become something of a standing joke in the music industry.
” The original Woodstock was an envelope-pushing revolution that captivated a national zeitgeist the major media had missed. Woodstock 50 is just a me-too event ,” wrote themusic industry bloggerBob Lefsetz.
Lefsetz goes on to describe Woodstock 50 as” the Fyre Festival in reverse”, referring to the ill-fated concert event in the Bahamas that collapsed, stranding ticket owners, and eventually visualized organiser Billy Macfarland jailed for fraud.
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