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Woodstock 50 Faces Another Setback as Racetrack Venue Backs Out


The prospects of a Woodstock 50th anniversary concert grew a bit darker on Monday after the festival was ejected from its chosen venue, the Watkins Glen International racetrack in upstate New York.

The festival, which had been planned for August, with Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, John Fogerty and others, has been in a state of limbo since late April, when its investor abruptly pulled out and announced that the festival was canceled. That investor, an arm of the Japanese advertising conglomerate Dentsu, blamed production delays and the festival organizers’ failure to obtain the necessary permits.

Those organizers — including Michael Lang, one of the producers of the original Woodstock festival in 1969 — disputed Dentsu’s announcement, and won a partial court victory last month, with a New York judge saying that Dentsu did not have the right to unilaterally cancel the event.

Yet Woodstock 50 still needed millions of dollars to stage the event, and agents representing many of the artists privately doubted it would ever take place.

Now the racetrack, in Watkins Glen, N.Y., has backed out. In a brief statement, the organization behind the venue said: “Watkins Glen International terminated the site license for Woodstock pursuant to provisions of the contract. As such, WGI will not be hosting the Woodstock 50 Festival.” Representatives for Woodstock 50 did not immediately comment.



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