By Kelsey Kushner

COLUMBIA, MD. (WJZ) — Woodstock 50 is officially canceled.

Organizers said it was a series of setbacks that made it impossible to put on the festival the way they imagined.

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“It’s just a sad thing,” Rachel Moler, of Columbia, said. “I would have loved to go.”

The musical celebration of 50 years since 1969’s Woodstock festival, an all-star concert that once had a lineup of Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, the Lumineers, Chance the Rapper and more, was officially cut Wednesday afternoon.

The festival was set to kick off in two weeks, and promoters had reached out to Howard County and Merriweather Post Pavilion about bringing their festival to the venue this summer.

“Knowing the cultural significance of this commemorative event, we were eager to help make it happen any way we could,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “Unfortunately, the festival producers were unable to fulfill their obligation and Woodstock 50 will no longer be taking place at Merriweather Post Pavilion,”

He added, however, that the Pavilion was fully capable of making the concert happen.

“Howard County and Merriweather were fully prepared to put on a world-class concert if the festival promoters could secure the acts,” He said.


Co-founder of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival Michael Lang said that due to conflicting radius issues in the DC areas many acts were not able to participate, while others passed for “their own reasons”

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Lang released a statement to WJZ, saying, in part:

“A series of unforseen setbacks made it impossible to put on the festival we had imagined.”

Organizers had originally hoped to celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary of “Peace and Music” in Watkins Glen, New York and then in the Town of Vernon. But both permits for the locations were rejected.

The original lineup of performers included The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Jay Z, Imagine Dragons, Dead and Company and Chance the Rapper, among others.

Local residents told WJZ that they are disappointed in the announcement.

“I’m disappointed, I’m sure that you know everybody was looking forward to it, and the revenue it brings in to Columbia,” Karen Kerr, of Columbia, said. “I’m a little sad they couldn’t figure out how to secure it.”

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball told WJZ in a statement that:

“I share in the disappointment of everyone who hoped to celebrate the anniversary of peace and music this summer,”

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Festival officials said that all of the performing artists have already been paid. They are now calling on them to donate a portion of that money to social causes of their choice.

Kelsey Kushner