Woodstock 50, a new event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic 1969 music festival, is slated to take place August 16-18 at the Watkins Glen International speedway in upstate New York. Tickets were due to go on sale April 22, but as Billboard and Variety report, the on-sale date has been pushed back, with no exact reason given for the delay. One possible hiccup, however, is that, as of Friday, April 19, the Woodstock 50 organizers have yet to acquire a mass gathering permit from the New York State Department of Health (DOH), Pitchfork can confirm.
According to Tim O’Hearn, administrator of Schuyler County (which includes the village of Watkins Glen), Watkins Glen International filed a mass gathering permit application to DOH on Monday, April 15. “The health department is reviewing to determine if a conditional permit may be issued that would allow for ticket sales to commence,” he told Pitchfork. “At this point there is no on-sale date set.”
New York State DOH spokesperson Erin Silk told Watkins Glen-area newspaper Review & Express in March that a conditional permit would allow for ticket sales to commence during the full permit review and approval process. Without a permit or conditional permit in place, tickets cannot be sold.
Silk issued the following statement to Pitchfork on April 15: “The Department continues to work closely with the applicant and event promoters to assure that all requirements are met for a mass gathering permit before ticket sales begin.” At this time, it is unclear when a permit is expected to be delivered. When reached on April 21, Silk stated that DOH is in “the process of completing its review” of the permit application.
Michael Lang, one of the organizers of the original festival, is the promoter behind Woodstock 50. He is the co-owner of Woodstock Ventures, which owns the original trademark to the fest. In a statement to Billboard, Lang said that Woodstock 50 will not be canceled, calling fears of cancelation “rumors.” Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Woodstock 50 for further comment.
Earlier this month, the Black Keys pulled out of Woodstock 50 due to a “scheduling conflict.” Other artists announced to perform at the festival include JAY-Z, Dead & Company, the Killers, Run the Jewels, the Raconteurs, and more.