After festival delays and rumors that it was canceled, Woodstock's 50th-anniversary festival is officially canceled, festival organizers said on Monday.
Officials with Dents Aegis Network, which is funding the event, released a statement to Billboard confirming the cancellation, noting that "we don't believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name."
Artists including The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, The Lumineers, Dead & Company, Chance the Rapper, Sturgill Simpson, Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Cage the Elephant and Brandi Carlile were set to headline over the course of the three-day festival scheduled for Aug. 16-18, 2019 in Watkins Glen, New York.
“It’s a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival. But 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."
The statement continued: "As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.”
At press time, the festival had not made an announcement on any of its social media platforms.
Representatives for the festival told Billboard that concerns about the capacity of the festival, site readiness and permitting issues led to the cancellation.
Last week, a festival representative asked officials with Live Nation and AEG for a $20 million investment to save the event, but both companies declined the offer.
More than $30 million has already been spent on the festival lineup, Billboard reports. Most artists were already paid by Amplify Live, the investment arm of Dents Aegis Network.
The cancellation comes a day after officials in Town of Bethel, New York, were shocked to see the approval of a $6.4 million construction project to replace a bridge on a major highway that Woodstock festival-goers would use.
The New York State Department of Transportation is slated to begin the project on Route 17B this spring, which Bethel Supervisor Daniel Sturm said might interfere with the success of the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair.
“We’re trying hard to have a successful 50th anniversary of the Woodstock event,” Sturm told the Times Herald-Record. “We want it to be well run and organized, but they’re shutting it down before we even get started.”
He said he was "shocked" to learn the project was moving forward and that he was under the impression big projects were waiting until 2020. He said it will cause detours and delays with the worst possible timing.
However, a public information officer told the Herald-Record that no work affecting traffic would take place during the weekend of Woodstock 50, so it's unclear if the construction was a factor in the decision to cancel the festival.