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Woodstock 50 officially announced, happening in Watkins Glen

Woodstock 50

As recently mentioned, there will be two music festivals happening this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the original 1969 Woodstock festival, an “unofficial” festival at the original site of Woodstock called Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival (presented by Live Nation, brand communications agency INVNT, and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts), and an “official” one in a different location (presented by Woodstock festival co-creator Michael Lang). The official one has now been announced. Woodstock 50 goes down August 16-18 (same weekend as Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival) in the fields surrounding the Watkins Glen International (same location as Summer Jam in 1973 with the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers, and more recently a location for two Phish festivals).

Here’s some more info via NY Times:

For Woodstock, three main stages will be supplemented by three smaller “neighborhoods,” as Mr. Lang described them, with their own food and programming.

Tickets? Mr. Lang and his team are still working on that. But they envision selling a maximum of around 100,000 three-day passes, with most attendees camping on site.

Lineup is still TBA, but Lang tells Rolling Stone that “some ‘newer bands’ will stage ‘celebrations of artists from the original Woodstock’ that will likely include tribute performances to Janis Joplin, the Band, Jefferson Airplane and Joe Cocker, among others.” “We’re also looking for unique collaborations, maybe some reunions and a lot of new and up-and-coming talent,” Lang says. Lang also promises Rolling Stone that the festival will be livestreamed, there will be clowns and jugglers roaming the grounds, movies playing on an enormous screen, and NGOs on site to tell attendees how to get involved in political causes.

Lang also addressed the controversial Woodstock ’99 and the many reports of sexual assault that came with it:

“It’s not tainted,” Mr. Lang said. “’99 was more like an MTV event than a Woodstock event, really. I take some responsibility for that. It was also kind of an angry time in music.”

UPDATE: A press release went out saying that “a limited number of discounted pre-sale tickets will be available to college students ages 18-25, by the end of January.” The PR also notes that “The festival grounds will also feature lodging experiences for tents, RVs, vans, and more premium camping options.” They say there will be three main stages, and they’re promising “more than 60 of the biggest names and emerging talent in rock, hip hop, pop and country.” Lang himself adds, “It will be primarily contemporary talent, but the legacy acts will be represented and honored.” Here’s more:

And in true Woodstock form, a key element of the 50th anniversary festival will be matching music with purpose – specifically sustainability and advocacy. Nonprofit and cause-driven organizations will be a big part of the experience, with programming and activations onsite, including screenings, panels and art installations. Highly curated ‘neighborhoods’ will feature more intimate and unique experiences – with art forms from music to comedy, spoken word to film and amazing food offerings.

The press release also notes that Lang will be rejoining forces with Artie Kornfeld, with whom he co-produced the original Woodstock festival.

As for the decision to do this in Watkins Glen, Lang said:

The original site in Bethel is wonderful, but much too small for what we’re envisioning. Watkins Glen International gives us the ability to create something unlike any other commemorative event and something uniquely Woodstock,” he added. Watkins Glen International also has a place in music festival history as the home to Summer Jam in 1973. “It’s a beautiful location and an ideal site,” said Lang, noting that when he first saw it, he felt “an immediate emotional connection to the land.

Lineup and ticket info are expected “in the coming weeks.”

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