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Woodstock Clamps Down on Deadbeats

Organizers Vow to Keep Freeloaders Out of Show

February 3, 1999 12:00 AM ET

The organizers of this summer's Woodstock extravaganzas -- in upstate New York and Vienna, Austria -- don't have much peace, love and understanding for gatecrashers.

As some will remember, the attendees of the original (1969) and faux (1994) Woodstocks were supposed to pay for breakfast in bed on Max Yasgur's Farm, and for the privilege of firing mud at Green Day, but only the squares and buttheads did. Now, Michael Lang and John Scher, who are promoting this year's 30th anniversary European and U.S. versions of Woodstock respectively, are "confident" that any children of God who don't pay will be sent walking along the road.

Without divulging the design of their security system, Lang says the guarded areas on both sites will be "taller and more substantial" than previous enclosures and "decorative and environmentally pleasing" as well. Scher adds, "We're confident we have a security plan where we'll be able to maintain the integrity of the outer perimeter and I think it will become self-evident when we tell people what it is."

Lang says willing patrons morphed into gatecrashers five years ago because tickets were not available on site, a gaffe that will be rectified for both Woodstocks this time around. Tickets for the festivals, similar to the '94 Woodstock, will cost around $135, according to both organizers.

Thus far, virtually every A-list music act has been asked to perform at one or both Woodstocks, including Page/Plant, Marilyn Manson, Guns n' Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam and the Beastie Boys, according to various managerial sources. Scher offered a "no comment" on what acts have been invited to perform, however Metallica, Iggy Pop, Skunk Anansie, Anouk and Faithless are all confirmed to play at least the Vienna version. Lang says an estimated 80 to 100 bands are expected to play over the three day festival in Vienna and 40 to 45 bands in Saugerties, N.Y. (site of the '94 event), or another location two-hours north of Saugerties, on July 26-28.

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