By Phoenix Staff

The 50th Anniversary of Woodstock 1969 coming up this August will be a worldwide celebration. The Utica Phoenix will be your Woodstock Central for information and updates

In the May edition of the Utica Phoenix a caption appeared on page two beneath the image of the Yasgur Road Productions image, which will be one of the locations for the 50th anniversary celebration of Woodstock 1969.

The second sentence of the caption mentioned, “With financing in question, the festival has been in debate for some time.”

This is not true in regards to Yasgur Road Productions. This is the correction. 

Yasgur Road Productions is no financial danger. It will be one of three New York State major public gatherings commemorating the original event held in Bethel, NY. All three are separate events and have nothing to do with each other

This is a quote from Jeryl Abramson, owner and operator of Yasgur Farm Productions

“My production has all necessary permits, I can’t speak for the others…. My financing is not in question….. My festival is not in debate, my fate is not in question.”

Abramson and her husband purchased the Yasgur farm property in 1993 and since 1996 they have hosted yearly Woodstock ‘reunions’ on their land. This year artists featured are Melvin Seals & JGB, Pink Talking Fish, Kung Fu, and Stella Blues Band 

to name a few. 

The not-for-profit, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, on the nearby site of the original site of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair features four days of ‘Song and Celebration’ for the 50th anniversary on August 15, 16, 17 and 18. 

This ccelebration will be among the long list of tributes commemorating the original festival as part of Bethel Wood’s Season of Song & Celebration taking place throughout the summer. Ringo Starr, Santana and Pat Benatar, Canned Heat and Pentatonix are among the acts scheduled.  Recently, Bethel Woods has announced that, in addition to John Fogerty, the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Grace Potter will be performing at that site on the evening of August 18th. 

And of course, there’s the most talked about and problem challenged Michael Lang production, Woodstock 50, scheduled to go off August 16,17&18 at Watkins Glen. This is the production to which the caption referred and still hangs in the balance.

In fact, financing remains in question, as the website reads, “Our intention holds firm. To deliver a world-class, once in a lifetime festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. To honor a cultural icon that changed the way we think about music and togetherness…and will do so again.”

It is the last phrase which gives pause to the-would-be attendee. Though the official Woodstock 50 website goes on to scroll the many messages of support and assurance, tickets have yet to go on sale for the mid-August event. Fans refer to already having their plane tickets booked, desperately waiting to purchase their tickets. 

With an impressive list of big name headliners, it appears as if the festival’s finances are in fact, preventing it from moving forward. Although reports vary, it’s estimated that the festival needs between eighteen to thirty million dollars to continue. In addition, neither a state nor a county permit has been provided to the festival, the issuance of which are facing looming deadlines.

Michael Lang, the festival’s organizer, has been in and out of court battles with his former investor, Dentsu Aegis, in an attempt to maintain control of both the event and the promotional aspects of Woodstock 50. 

On May 15th, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that the festival is allowed to continue, despite Dentsu’s attempt to cancel the festival in late April. 

Yet, on May 29th, the state Supreme Court rejected Lang’s attempt to prevent Dentsu from interfering with the festival in the future.

Billboard Magazine recently reported that Lang’s Woodstock Ventures holding company leased the Woodstock name to a separate holding company, Woodstock 50, LLC back in August of 2018. Given contention from that source may impact Lang’s legal right to call the event ‘Woodstock 50’ anymore

Stay tuned and keep and eye on those websites where you can register for updates to come directly to your in box


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