The 50th anniversary celebration of Woodstock, dubbed Woodstock 50, has been canceled, according to a statement from the festival's financial backer, Dentsu Aegis Network.
The three-day event, which was to occur Aug. 16-18 in Watkins Glen, N.Y., was to feature artists including the Killers, Miley Cyrus, Chance the Rapper, the Dead and Company and dozens more. Its goal: to celebrate the influential 1969 music festival dubbed "three days of peace, love and music."
In the statement given to Billboard, Dentsu Aegis Network, a multinational media and digital marketing company, wrote:
"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 concluded: "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."
The festival was promoted to honor the iconic music festival that occurred outside Bethel, N.Y., on Aug. 15-17, 1969. Featuring performances by Neil Young, Janis Joplin, the Who, Sly & the Family Stone and others, the event was a defining cultural moment of the 1960s. It was co-founded by Michael Lang, who is involved in the anniversary concert.
A statement by organizers given to the Poughkeepie Journal, however, says the festival is still occurring. "Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival's cancellation and legal remedy will [be] sought," a statement from Woodstock 50 said.