Woodstock 50 festival gets lifeline, with just weeks to spare

NEW YORK (NYTimes) – The producers of Woodstock 50 have secured a last-minute deal to put on their show in Maryland, after months of legal and permit battles that had left the event in grave doubt.

Woodstock 50 will now be at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheatre in Columbia, Maryland, the producers confirmed on Thursday (July 25).

It will be held from Aug 16 to 18, almost exactly 50 years after the first Woodstock.

But it was unclear which artists would be performing.

When the line-up was announced early this year, it was to include Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, John Fogerty, Santana and dozens of others.

For much of the year, Woodstock 50 has been the talk of the concert business, mostly for the wrong reasons, as its producers faced obstacle after obstacle.

The producers – including Mr Michael Lang, one of the original partners behind the festival in 1969 – have battled with their partners and former investor, Japanese advertising conglomerate Dentsu, which withdrew its support in April.

Producers lost two venues in upstate New York after failing to obtain permits.

They suffered their latest setback just three days ago when the event was rejected – for a fourth time – by the town of Vernon, New York.

With just three weeks before the show was to start, much of the music industry had given up on Woodstock 50.

But on Thursday, it emerged that the producers had made a deal to save it.

Still, it is not clear who will play.

Artists’ contracts with Woodstock 50 were tied to its originally planned venue, in Watkins Glen, New York, and they may have a right to refuse to play if the show is moved.

On Thursday, producers were still negotiating with artists’ agents.

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