Woodstock turns the big 5-0 this year, and original festival organizer Michael Lang announced that the golden anniversary celebration will be at Watkins Glen International. The three day festival is scheduled for August 16th, 17th, and 18th.
Event organizers plan to release the names of those performing when tickets go on sale in February, but have said it will be a mix of new and older artists representing several genres including pop, hip hop, and rock. Three stages are planned.
There will be a celebration of the monumental concert event at the original site in Bethel NY, which has been turned into a musical venue that only seats 15,000. Event organizers for the 50th anniversary concert have not worked out the exact capacity at Watkins Glen, but Lang says it’s likely to be six figures. Watkins Glen was the site of “Summer Jam” in 1973, which had an estimated 600,000 people.
Acknowledging problems at previous festivals including mud, improper sanitation and limited water, Lang acknowledged those issues and says he has worked out solutions to those issues and more. He specifically pointed out the problems at Woodstock ’99 held in Rome NY where, in addition to price gouging for fresh water, fires and riots broke out towards the end.
“I shouldn’t have left the booking to others,” he told Rolling Stone magazine. “And the water situation was ridiculous. As soon as I saw that, I tried to get everyone to lower the prices and I couldn’t. I did order tractor trailers of water and put them out for free. I do think a lot of people had a good time, but the fires at the end became the imagery of it.
In addition to music, Lang says Woodstock 50 will retain the social awareness of the original. Attendees will be able to learn about various social and political causes while at the festival.