The beleaguered official 50th anniversary tribute concert to Woodstock will be free, if it moves forward. A rep for the festival told the Washington, D.C. radio station WTOP that if it’s able to pull off the supposedly three-day event, still aiming to kick off in a little over two weeks, it would make tens of thousands of tickets complimentary.
Last week, representatives for the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland said they were in touch with the festival organizers about staging the event there, after it struck out month after month in New York State. Nevertheless, Seth Hurwitz, the chairman of the company that operates the venue, still sounded doubtful, noting he had yet to see a proposed lineup.
“Merriweather requires ticketing,” a Woodstock 50 spokesperson who asked to remain anonymous told the radio station. “For the peaceful enjoyment of all, thoughtful logistical planning has taken place for Woodstock 50 at Merriweather.” Rolling Stone has confirmed that the event will be complimentary.
The rep added that all the tickets would be for one-day-only admissions. “Tickets are for a single day,” said the spokesperson. “Tickets will be distributed through HeadCount, participating artists’ foundations and local charitable partnerships in D.C. and Baltimore.” A rep for HeadCount confirmed to Rolling Stone that if the festival does occur, the non-profit would be the beneficiary. A rep for Woodstock did not return a request for comment.
Despite the optimism, a cloud of doubt still hovers over the event. Reports circulated last week that the festival released all of the talent they had booked for the original festival, set to take place in Watkins Glen, New York, and have yet to announce any new acts. The festival’s website no longer lists a lineup, as artists like Jay-Z, Dead and Co. and John Fogerty have publicly confirmed they would no longer play the anniversary festival.
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And as recent as Sunday night, Hurwitz was saying he had not yet seen any proposed acts. “We’re still waiting to hear who is playing, but that’s not our job,” said Hurwitz. “They do still have a venue if they have a show.”
If the festival does move forward, it will be much more pared down than originally planned. When the Woodstock 50 organizers booked Watkins Glen International, their intention was to bring 150,000 people to central New York State — a little over half of what some estimates of the original Woodstock were. The new venue could house around 32,000 people on weekends.