Woodstock 50 is without a venue once again as its permit has been denied by Oneida County officials.
The county, which includes the proposed festival site Vernon Downs, opted to deny the fest’s permit and officials cited the anniversary shows dysfunction.
“It’s been chaotic,” Oneida County Administrator Anthony Picente Jr. told Variety. “Originally it was going to be a three-day festival, but then [the producers] said instead it would be three one-day events, with all 65,000 or however many people vacating the grounds at the end of each day.”
The shift came after Watkins Glen International pulled out of the event. Vernon Downs has no camping facilities to host a three-day onsite festival. Picente said that the risk of harm was too great when trying to throw together a massive festival on short notice.
“We could have done this with a year or 16 months advance [planning], but to do it in three to six weeks is really a near impossibility from a public safety and health standpoint,” he said. “As someone who as here for 1999 [Woodstock’s troubled 30th anniversary concert in nearby Rome, N.Y., which was marred by violence and fires], some names have changed but it’s largely the same situation.”
Woodstock 50’s president responded to public safety concerns aired earlier this week by county officials.
“We understand the public safety and traffic concerns of the local community. We have been working diligently over the last several weeks to secure the permits needed to hold the festival, and will continue to work with Law Enforcement and Public Safety Officials to present a cohesive safety and traffic plan that will be satisfactory in addressing the concerns,” Greg Peck said at the time.
Now, Woodstock 50 has five days to appeal the decision and a further five weeks to put together a 65,000-person festival they have yet to sell a single ticket for.