Buh-Bye Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival

Woodstock Music Festival co-producer Michael Lang at a happier occasion

Some things just aren’t meant to be. Today’s case in point – Woodstock 50, an attempt to recreate the magic of the original Woodstock Music Festival  of 1969, on which promoters claim to already have spent $30,000,000 (wtf?!) has been cancelled.

Did somebody really believe that The Killers, Dead and Co, Imagine Dragons, Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, The Lumineers, Chance the Rapper, Sturgill Simpson, Halsey, Cage the Elephant, and other far from legendary contemporary acts would match the impact of Richie Havens, Ravi Shankar Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Santana Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, and on and on and on?

In the end, good sense and a desire to maintain the value of the Woodstock Brand (really? there’s a Woodstock fucking brand?) prevailed. As the organizers, Dentsu Aegis Network, put it, “We don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name.”

The whole “Woodstock Brand name” thing sounds to us about as contrary to the original, “Fuck war! Fuck you!” theme of the original Woodstock as anybody could possibly go, but we admit we kinda like the idea that in this instance, at least, capitalism has made it possible for the most joyous musical/societal memory of the wonder that once was rock ‘n’ roll to survive at the expense, well, capitalism itself, whaddaya know.

Billboard has the whole story of yet another huge 2019 fail here