Disappointment Hits After Watkins Glen Pulls Out Of Woodstock 50


VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – There’s a feeling of resignation around Schuyler County now that Watkins Glen International says it will not host Woodstock 50.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Woodstock organizer Michael Lang. (Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The concert was supposed to be August 16-18 and feature Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, John Fogerty and several other artists.

“This was not completely unexpected given the planning delays and somewhat of a disorganized approach to producing this,” said Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn. That “disorganized approach” is a reference to a series of issues that plagued the festival and its organizers.

First, a Pitchfork report in April said ticket sales were delayed because organizers didn’t get a proper permit from the New York Department of Health.

Then financial backer, Dentsu Aegis Network, dropped out. That was followed by a lawsuit filed by organizers against Denstu Aegis.

All of that has led to this moment and an economic loss for the region. “It’s substantial,” said O’Hearn. “There was a large economic impact to be had from this particular event.”

O’Hearn estimates that economic impact to be about $50 million, but adds that Finger Lakes tourism will be fine. “This being a first-class destination area, we will certainly not suffer with respect to our tourism economy,” he said. “This would’ve been a substantial boost to a peak time that we already would enjoy anyway. ”

O’Hearn said he looks forward to hosting similar concerts down the line. He wouldn’t comment on whether he would recommend working with the organizers of Woodstock 50 in the future. Those organizers announced a new financial backer last month and say the concert will go on.

They claim to be in talks with a new venue.