Woodstock 50 Music Festival Secures New Venue In Maryland

The beleaguered festival has a new home

July 26, 2019

Call it the underdog of music festivals, because according to a report by Bloomberg, Woodstock 50 has secured a new location and is back on track. Possibly.

After failing to secure a permit in Vernon, NY, the festival's organizers will be moving the event from upstate New York to the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland from August 16th through August 18th. The venue is an outdoor amphitheater that can accomodate up to 32,000 people, and could ultimately save the frequently jinxed event. 

The festival's organizers were frazzled after making multiple attempts to save the festival by securing a new location throughout the home state of the original 1969 festival. That was until Calvin Ball, an executive with Howard County, reached out to Woodstock 50 organizer Greg Peck. After recommending the festival be held at Merriweather Post Pavilion, a popular music venue in the area, the organizers accepted.

But Woodstock 50 isn't out of the woods yet. They may have a venue, but now an official lineup of artists needs to be secured in time. The original lineup intended to feature rock artists like Greta Van Fleet, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, The Killers, The Black Keys, Gary Clark Jr., and Rival Sons, as well as some pop and hip-hop artists like Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, and Halsey. The Black Keys made an early exit in April, and now there is a chance that some artists could drop out of the event due to changes from the contract and its running streak of bad luck. Plus, the Merriweather Post Pavilion is considerably smaller than the original venue in New York. Now Woodstock 50 organizers are communicating with artists and their representatives on how they can plan on moving forward.

John Fogerty played the original festival in 1969 with Creedence Clearwater Revival, but quickly exited Woodstock 50 upon news of the move to Maryland. ”John Fogerty knows where he will be for the anniversary weekend of Woodstock,” the singer's team explains in a statement. “At only one site… at the original one – the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.”

“When John took the call from the organizers in 1969 and was asked to play a festival called ‘Woodstock,' John accepted,” the statment continues, according to Variety. "He and his band were the first act to sign up for the festival leading other iconic bands to follow. So now, 50 years later, John is going back to the original site where his name appears on a plaque commemorating that weekend. John will celebrate his own 50th Anniversary as well as Woodstock’s, together at Bethel on August 18. Back at the original site that he stepped foot on 50 years ago, nearly to the day!”

According to the Associated Press, Jay-Z has also removed himself from the upcoming anniversary concert.

The festival is also going through a few rebranding changes as well. It is being pitched as a benefit concert to raise awareness for voting and climate change. A portion of the ticket sales will go towards the nonprofit HeadCount, which assists in voter registration and related causes. Organizers are also planning on raising funds through a livestream of the event. It may also be renamed as "Woodstock 50 Washington", in relation to its proximity near Washington D.C.

Woodstock 50 was originally planned for Watkins Glen, NY on August 16th, 17th, and 18th.