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Woodstock 50 Permit Appeal Denied for Vernon Site (Again), Citing ‘Worthless’ Safety Plan

Woodstock 50 faced yet another rejection Monday (July 22) when the Town of Vernon denied an application submitted by organizers to hold the anniversary festival Aug. 16-18 at Vernon Downs.

Woodstock 50 faced yet another rejection Monday (July 22) when the Town of Vernon denied an application submitted by organizers to hold the anniversary festival Aug. 16-18 at Vernon Downs. 

The event’s safety plan was deemed “worthless” by one official, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal, with safety and capacity issues at the crux of the denial to a proposal submitted July 17. Town of Vernon code enforcement officer Reay Walker wrote in his letter making the decision the so-called “Woodstock 50 Safety Plan” included a “Confidentiality Statement” that “invalidates the entire plan.”

With less than a month until the concert is scheduled to begin, this marks the fourth time that Woodstock 50 has faced rejection in the past two weeks by officials in Vernon — itself a backup plan from the original site, Watkins Glen International speedway.

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In his statement, Walker wrote that Woodstock 50 organizers do not “make any warranty as to the absolute accuracy or completeness of the information contained,” the Poughkeepsie Journal reports. He continued, “This disclaimer of responsibility makes the plan worthless,” as “The purpose of a Public Safety Plan, insofar as submitted to the Town Code Office, is to make a representation to the permitting authority that the Public Safety Plan will be followed and that its estimates are accurate.”

Walker also noted a lack of details on how perimeter fencing would be built and where the estimated 65,000 attendees would go when the event ends each night. “Implicit in this application is that those forced to leave Vernon Downs at 11:00 at night will be forced to sleep in their cars or any lawn or sidewalk that seems unguarded,” he wrote. 

A spokesperson for Woodstock 50 did not respond to request for comment by time of publishing.