Woodstock 50 officially canceled, festival founder confirms

The 50th anniversary festival for Woodstock has officially been canceled months after an investor and a slew of artists began to pull out of the festival.

Pitchfork reported the official cancellation comes two weeks before its Aug.16 start date.

Variety reported Miley Cyrus withdrew from the festival Tuesday, joining original Woodstock 1969 performers Santana, John Sebastian and Country Joe McDonald. John Fogerty, Jay-Z, the Raconteurs and the Lumineers were all previously-announced performers who confirmed they wouldn't be at the festival.

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Woodstock 1969 co-founder and co-producer Michael Lang, who was behind much for Woodstock 50, issued a lengthy statement on the cancellation, suggesting artists donate 10% of their fees to HeadCount, a nonprofit organization that registers voters at concerts.

"We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the Festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating. When we lost the Glen and then Vernon Downs (venues) we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel," Land said, according to Variety. "We formed a collaboration with HeadCount to do a smaller event at the Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change. We released all the talent so any involvement on their part would be voluntary. Due to conflicting radius issues in the DC area many acts were unable to participate and others passed for their own reasons. I would like to encourage artists and agents, who all have been fully paid, to donate 10% of their fees to HeadCount or causes of their choice in the spirit of peace. Woodstock remains committed to social change and will continue to be active in support of HeadCount's critical mission to get out the vote before the next election."

Lang's statement comes after Dentsu Aegis Network, financial backers of the festival, withdrew funding and claimed Woodstock 50 was canceled in April, Pitchfork reported.

Organizers said the festival was still happening and the two went to court. The court ultimately issued a ruling that allowed organizers to continue, and Oppenheimer & Co. became the new investors of the festival.

"If it doesn't work this year, it doesn't work this year," Lang told the Poughkeepsie Journal in July. "We've tried everything we can. We've done our best."

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