Entertainment

Woodstock 50 investor withdraws, leaving festival in shambles

Woodstock 50 is proving to be as chaotic as the original festival held in 1969.

Organizers vow the anniversary show will go on

A financial investor in Woodstock 50 has announced it is pulling funding from the anniversary event, set to take place Aug. 16-18 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Stephen Chernin/Associated Press)

Woodstock 50 is proving to be as chaotic as the original festival held in 1969. 

A financial investor in the festival announced Monday it was pulling its funding, effectively cancelling the anniversary event, set to take place Aug. 16-18 in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

"Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don't believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees," Amplifi, Dentsu Aegis Network's media investment arm, said in a statement. 

In a written statement, representatives for Woodstock 50 denied the festival is in trouble.

"The bottom line is, there is going to be a Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival, as there must be, and it's going to be a blast."

The anniversary event has had some bumps in the road in the past few weeks. Tickets were originally supposed to go on sale last week, but was postponed. (A ticket sale date still has not been announced.) And the names of some of the performers were leaked to the press.

Dentsu had a clause in its contract that gave it the option to cancel the festival, a representative of the investors said.

Woodstock 50 said it would seek new investors.

"Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will of course be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners," the group's statement said.

Jay-Z, Dead & Company and the Killers were announced as headliners at the event, to take place about 185 kilometres northwest of the original site. The event is separate from an anniversary concert planned at the site of the original festival in 1969.

A wide range of artists were announced as performers, including Robert Plant, left, Miley Cyrus, centre, and Chance the Rapper. (Associated Press)

More than 80 artists, including John Fogerty, Miley Cyrus, Santana, Imagine Dragons, Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, The Black Keys, Chance the Rapper and Janelle Monae, were expected to perform on three main stages at Watkins Glen International racetrack in the Finger Lakes for Woodstock 50.

The original concert was held on a farm in Bethel, N.Y., that is now run as an attraction by the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. The venue has its own anniversary event Aug. 16-18 with performances by Ringo Starr, Fogerty and Santana.

With files from Reuters

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