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Mon Aug 19, 2019, 07:22 PM

'It Was One Problem After Another': How Woodstock 50 Fell Apart

Source: Rolling Stone

'It Was One Problem After Another': How Woodstock 50 Fell Apart

Woodstock 50 had nearly every resource a festival could ask for: storied brand name, massive financial backing and industry goodwill. Where did it all go wrong?

By DAVID BROWNE
By KORY GROW
AUGUST 18, 2019

A month before Woodstock 50 was announced, the festival was already in deep trouble. Last December, Michael Lang, the co-founder of the original 1969 event who had become its bemused-hippie symbol in subsequent decades, was in talks with an upstate New York racetrack for a fest that would mark the anniversary of the historic, if chaotic, cultural milestone he had overseen. The new festival would take place August 16th – 18th, 2019, almost exactly 50 years after the original Woodstock.

Lang had begun negotiations with the international media company Dentsu Aegis to finance the event, writing in a December 4th email to the company’s chief commercial officer, D.J. Martin, that he was imagining a crowd of 150,000. Dentsu thought government permits would cap attendance at 60,000. Lang, whose email signature includes a quote from counterculture author Ken Kesey (“Put your good where it counts the most”), contested that number: “Where did you get that?” he emailed back. Martin replied, “From you.”

Martin seemed agitated and concerned. “If that is not the case, then you need to clarify the facts to the collective team,” he wrote. “We could end up in bad shape really quickly.” Those words would eventually come back to haunt everyone.

Woodstock 50 had nearly every resource a festival could ask for: a storied brand name, financial backing from a multinational communications company, and agents eager to sign up their artists for sizable paychecks. The three-day show would not only celebrate rock’s most iconic festival; it would connect the original’s heritage to the Coachella generation via hip-hop artists and pop chart-toppers.

Instead, Woodstock 50 turned into a slow-moving train wreck. This Rolling Stone investigation is based on three months of reporting, nearly 100 legal filings, and dozens of interviews with people connected to the festival, including artists, agents, managers, and government officials. It’s the story of how the Age of Aquarius turned into the Age of Mercury in Retrograde — and the unfulfilled promises left in its wake.

“You can’t ‘magic’ one of these [Woodstocks] into happening, and that’s what they tried to do with this,” says David Crosby, one of the veterans of the first Woodstock who was booked for the anniversary festival. ...

-snip-


Read more: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/woodstock-50-disaster-872320/

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Reply 'It Was One Problem After Another': How Woodstock 50 Fell Apart (Original post)
Eugene Aug 2019 OP
delisen Aug 2019 #1
msongs Aug 2019 #2
muntrv Aug 2019 #3
SharonAnn Aug 2019 #4

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 07:30 PM

1. You can't go home again....

50 revolutions around the sun....a long time spinning. Makes me dizzy just to think about it.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 07:35 PM

2. too much of today's "music" contains little peace and love nt

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 07:49 PM

3. Remember Woodstock 99? That may have been another reason.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 08:34 PM

4. Some things (events) just cannot be recreated.

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