Does anyone recognize the name, Michael Lang? Are we witnessing the chaos of Woodstock ‘99 all over again with the 50th Anniversary at Watkins Glen?

The Woodstock Anniversary event doesn't seem to be running smoothly. Here are just a few things that we've noticed.

  • Tickets were supposed to go on sale Monday, April 22, to coincide with Earth Day, but it's been delayed with no word on when you can purchase them.
  • EW has reported that the festival hasn't even secured the required permits from the NYS Department of Health for the event.
  • Bloomberg has reported Michael Lang, producer of the 50th Anniversary, claims to have sent Live Nation and Bethel Woods a cease-and-desist letter due to it being presented as a rival event.
  • Difficulty booking talent. Acts were supposed to be announced in January but weren't released until March.
  • Lang predicted attendance of over 100,000 people but has since dropped the number to 75,000.

This is the same person who promoted Woodstock '99 in Rome. The 30th anniversary didn't go so well. The former Rome base held over 200,000. Despite all the planning and research of past Woodstock festival fails, the attempt at recreating the spirit of 1969 did not go according to plan. In the end, Rome was left with damage. There were arrests and injuries, overflowing toilets, empty ATMs and temperatures that felt like they were in the triple digits, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.

This is what Michael Lang told Billboard in 2009 via HuffPost

“I think the aftermath of ‘99, the imagery of kids sort of dancing around the fire, was more dramatic than the actual event...The problem with ‘99 sort of erupted after the last act went off stage, and it was really a couple of hundred kids who were running rampant. I think that it has its ramifications, but I don’t think it did any real damage in that sense.”

The same interview on HuffPost said Lang was planning a future Woodstock that would mark the 50th anniversary of the 1969 original.

If it comes to fruition in 2019, it seems more likely to fall in line with the peaceful festivals that have emerged since Woodstock ‘99 went up in flames. The early 2000s introduced an onslaught of well-organized fests — Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, Austin City Limits — that never fell victim to the madness of that fateful weekend in 1999. [HuffPost]

When tickets go on sale, expect a hefty price tag of $450.00 each for the 3-day festival. Single day tickets will not be available. Woodstock's 50th Anniversary is scheduled for Aug.16-18 at Watkins Glen. Some of the original performers from the original Woodstock festival participating are Santana, John Fogerty, David Crosby and more.

The Bethel Woods festival originally, announced as the 50th Anniversary, is scheduled for the week of August 15-18:

  • Thursday, August 15:  A screening of the Warner Bros. Academy-Award winning documentary, Woodstock: the Director’s Cut will be held on the historic festival field. It is an experience unlike any other to watch the documentary that chronicles the emergence of the Counterculture movement on the very field where it was filmed a half-century ago.
  • Friday, August 16: Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band will take the Pavilion Stage, along with Arlo Guthrie, who performed just after midnight on Friday, the first day of the festival; as well as Edgar Winter with The Edgar Winter Band, returning to Bethel for the first time since performing at the festival with his brother Johnny Winter.
  • Saturday, August 17: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Woodstock legend, Santana returns to Bethel Woods Pavilion Stage, exactly 50 years after his groundbreaking Saturday afternoon festival performance. Santana will be joined by special guests The Doobie Brothers.
  • Sunday, August 18: To be announced!

Ticket prices vary and start at $33.00.

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