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Woodstock 50 Loses Third Appeal in New York’s Vernon

Woodstock 50 just can't catch a break in Vernon, New York. For the third time, the festival's proposal to move the anniversary event to Vernon Downs race tack has been denied, this time by the Vernon…

Update: Woodstock 50 just issued the following statement to Billboard at 11:30 pm Eastern:

Woodstock 50 is disappointed that the Town of Vernon has passed up the opportunity to hold the historic 50th Anniversary Festival by denying our robust and thoughtful proposal. We regret that those in Vernon who supported Woodstock have been deprived of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the rebirth of a cultural peace movement that changed the world in 1969 and is what the world needs now. We want to thank the artists who stood by us. We are grateful for the support of Vernon Downs and its generous owner Jeffrey Gural.   

Woodstock 50 just can’t catch a break in Vernon, New York.

For the third time, the festival’s proposal to move the anniversary event to Vernon Downs race tack has been denied, this time by the Vernon Planning Board who voted late Tuesday (July 16) to reject an appeal by festival organizers after their application was denied last week and their first appeal was turned down days later.

Immediately after the decision, Virgin Produced, who has been advising with the Woodstock 50 team, “officially concluded its consulting role with respect to the company and the proposed festival,” according to a statement from Virgin Produced’s publicist.


“Given that the attempt to secure permits with the Town of Vernon, NY and related state agencies has been finally denied, Virgin Produced has concluded its advisory mandate and terminated its services agreement. Virgin Produced, and its CEO Jason Felts, wish Woodstock all the best in its future endeavors.”

Felts had been brought on after a series of setbacks for Woodstock 50, including losing its original festival site, its permit to host the event at Watkins Glen, its main investors and its producer.

“Woodstock will always be remembered as an iconic moment in history,” Felts said in a statement. “Despite our formidable effort to assist Michael Lang and the Woodstock 50 ownership in resurrecting their NY festival, it has become apparent that time has expired. It is imperative to us to produce an event at the highest level; in which all artists and consumers deserve. Without a venue and related permits secured, there is simply no time left to do so. As a brand that shares a passion for music, peace, and love, we found it an honor to advise our client through this challenging period and are saddened to hear of the Town of Vernon’s decision to deny permits. We wish the Woodstock team the best in their future endeavors. We are hopeful that Woodstock will live on and that ownership will once again have an opportunity to hold an event that both respects the brand’s legacy and represents the current and future generation of likeminded fans.” 


Officials with Woodstock 50 told WFXV reporter Ben Dennis that event organizers plan to reapply for permits Wednesday morning and live-tweeted much of the hearing. 

Billboard will update this post as more information becomes available.