Jonathan Richie BW.tif

In 1969, the most famous music festival was held in Bethel, New York on Max Yasgur’s farm, not his dairy farm, but held in his hay fields. It was kind of a disaster and it is not really a surprise the 50th anniversary of the festival, named Woodstock 50, was canceled earlier this week.

While investors have said they are canceling the event, organizers are planning on going forward with it. It was (or possibly still is) scheduled for Aug. 16-18 this summer in Watkins Glen, New York.

Fifty years ago, a bunch of hippies invaded the small town and changed the pop culture forever. Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix were just a few of the music acts from that show.

Woodstock 50 was attempting to latch onto the ongoing trend of young people and nostalgia. Just look at the upcoming Disney movies; Dumbo, Aladdin and a live-action Lion King.

Their idea was to have modern acts like Jay-Z at the same festival as John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, who played at the original Woodstock. Dentsu Aegis Network had been bankrolling the festival and they announced they were canceling saying, “we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand.”

I won’t even go into details about Woodstock ‘99.

Investors probably canceled the festival after the Fyre Festival a couple of years ago.

Do you remember the Fyre Festival or the competing documentaries on Netflix or Hulu? Well here’s what happened – a bunch of millennials saw what looked like a dream festival on Instagram and started sending them money. The organizers tried to create the ultimate party, but had no idea how to put on a festival of that size. So, a bunch of young people flew to the Bahamas and instead of fancy houses were asked to sleep in FEMA disaster tents.

I am pretty sure investors saw those documentaries and remembered the social media outrage following the Fyre Festival and wanted to avoid that at all costs.

Woodstock was generally a success with only two deaths. However, zero deaths would be best.

Of the over half a million people that went to the festival there were supposedly only two deaths. One was a drug overdose and the other was a guy sleeping underneath a tractor – the driver didn’t see him in the morning and ran him over.

Woodstock was also a disaster in 1969. The Red Cross had to be called in to provide water and an infamous announcement came over the speakers telling festival-goers “the brown acid that is circulating around us is not specifically too good. It’s suggested that you do stay away from that.”

Ahh, the late 1960s, what a time to be alive.