Woodstock 50 Denied Permit
In what may be the final blow to Michael Lang's attempt to stage Woodstock 50, the town of Vernon, N.Y., has denied the organizers and holders of the iconic 1969 festival's name a permit to hold an event on Aug. 16-18.
According to Variety, a town board meeting rejected the application to hold Woodstock 50 at Vernon Downs Racetrack, roughly 130 miles away from the original's Bethel Woods, N.Y., site, because they are not sure that the small town of 5,400 people (as of 2010) could handle a three-day crowd of an estimated 65,000 people.
This includes the possibility of damages to homes and business, safety issues and the strain on police and emergency services. One person called it a "recipe for disaster."
Lang can appeal the decision within five days, as well as put forth solutions to the questions raised by the board. However, unnamed experts say it's unlikely that the appeal will be overturned and that, with only five weeks before the festival is to begin, he won't have enough time. Vernon's sheriff has suggested that Lang try again next year.
Vernon Downs became an option last month after Lang's first choice, Watkins Glen International, terminated its contract with the festival. At roughly the same time, production company CID Entertainment, which stepped in with financial support when Dentsu Aegis Network pulled out, similarly withdrew.
Lang has accused Dentsu Aegis of deliberately trying to sabotage the event and stealing $17 million from the festival's account.