Hosts Open House; Vows to Hire Locals, Possibly Hold Future Events at Racino  


WOODSTOCK, NY—July 15, 2019—Organizers of Woodstock 50 and Jeffrey Gural, owner of Vernon Downs, today invited the community of Vernon to embrace the Festival’s spirit of peace, love and music by stopping by an open house to meet the team and preview a proposal for a 50th Anniversary  celebration at the race track.

Woodstock 50 is seeking an administrative permit from the Town of Vernon to host the three-day Festival at Vernon Downs on August 16-18. The open house will take place at the Vernon Downs Casino Hotel at 6:30 p.m. on Monday and from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Refreshments will be served.

Gural will be one of several speakers at a formal presentation of the Festival’s comprehensive plan to the Town of Vernon Tuesday night. The meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Vernon Town Hall, is open to the public.

“The original Woodstock prevailed against all odds because of the determination of the founders and we hope that, with the help of the people of Vernon, history can repeat itself and turn Woodstock 50 into a great American comeback story,” said Greg Peck, co-owner of Woodstock 50.  “We purchased the rights from the founders to put on Woodstock 50 because of our belief in what the Festival stands for. We have put enormous care and thought into our security, safety, traffic and medical plan and are eager to show the officials and residents of Vernon that this Festival will be not only memorable and historic, but peaceful and safe for everyone involved.”

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for Vernon Downs and the Town of Vernon to be part of history,” said Gural, a real estate developer who also runs harness tracks at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and Tioga Downs in southern New York. “We have long dreamed of hosting music festivals at Vernon Downs as a way of shoring up the long-term economic viability of the operation. Woodstock 50 would be the beginning of a tremendous legacy that would help secure jobs today and for future generations.”

Woodstock 50 has assembled a world-class team of experts to help with the expedited schedule of the Festival. Among the consultants is Virgin Produced, the entertainment production arm of Sir Richard Branson‘s Virgin Group.

Music festivals have proven to be a boon for the local economies where they are held.  In its 17th year, the Bonnaroo Music Festival, held on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, TN, pumped an estimated $56 million into the regional economy, including its host town of 10,000 people, according to the Tennessean.

Woodstock 50 would be no different. If permits are secured, Woodstock 50 could foresee hiring local residents to help with ticketing, security, logistical support, transportation, set up, break down and clean up. Peck and Gural said they have discussed holding annual Woodstock 50 events at Vernon Downs in the future.


Gural said he is prepared to make a contribution to local non-profit organizations from the proceeds of the Festival just as he has done in other communities where he operates. On Friday, Gural is donating $500,000 to local non-profits in Nichols, N.Y., the home of Tioga Downs.


Peck said Woodstock 50 also would like to establish a committee of local residents to identify and invite certain local vendors onto the site during the Festival. The committee would also be in charge of managing a VIP lounge for local residents and guests.

Peck said the committee also could help identify a community project such as a playground or children’s recreational center that Woodstock 50 could leave as a thank you to the people of Vernon.

“We see the Town of Vernon as our partners in putting on this Festival,” Peck said. “We can’t do it without their help and want the Festival to be a great source of community pride. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the experience.”


About Woodstock 50:

Created in 1969 and billed as “3 Days of Peace and Music,” the legendary Woodstock Music and Arts Fair was a reaction by the youth of its time to the tumultuous conditions they faced and the causes that inspired them —civil rights, women’s rights and the antiwar movement. Woodstock was a defining cultural and historical moment that brought hundreds of thousands of attendees together for music, peace and love.

Woodstock co-producer and co-founder, Michael Lang and partners are bringing the festival back in the true spirit of the original – to unite people in a shared experience with great artists, and encourage active support of equality, inclusion and a shared sustainable future. The Official Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival intend to bring three days of peace, love and music back to Upstate New York from Friday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Aug. 18, at Vernon Downs.


Sallie Hofmeister, Sitrick And Company,; 310-788-2850.

Lockwood Law


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