As the 50th anniversary of the legendary Woodstock approaches, the music world is gearing up to celebrate with a number of events. One of these, the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival, was slated to take place over a three-day weekend in August.
The celebration, though unaffiliated with the original Woodstock concert promoters, was thought to be a commercially strong partnership between Bethel Woods, Live Nation, and INVNT, a self-styled “live brand storytelling agency.”
However, what was originally planned to be a three-day event in the Bethel Woods, New York has been downsized to three separate one-day events. Instead, each individual event will be a part of the venue’s year-long “Season of Song and Celebration.” Not only that, INVNT is no longer affiliated as a producer of the event. Scott Cullather, CEO of INVNT, said the following in a press statement:
“INVNT will not be involved in the new format and we wish Bethel Woods and Live Nation, as well as the organizers of the other 50th anniversary celebrations taking place around the world, the very best.”
As of now, Ringo Starr has been lined up to perform on Friday, August 16; Carlos Santana and his guests the Doobie Brothers will play that Saturday, while the Sunday lineup has yet to be announced. Of course, all of this highly subject to change if the event switches to a multiple weekend format.
Bethel Woods Culture & Art Center stands on the original Woodstock grounds, but is not the only golden-year celebration taking place that weekend. Original Woodstock promoter Michael Lang had also announced a concurrent 50th-anniversary celebration in Watkins Glen, New York. Given how INVNT has publicly pulled out of Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival, could it be a far cry to assume they may be working with Lang’s Woodstock Ventures LLC?
The business dealings that go on behind-the-curtain at large-scale event/promotion companies is always a bit of a mystery. Whatever speculation may incur, the fact of the matter is this: There are two massive, 100K-person Woodstock commemorative events being planned in competition with one another… on the same weekend… within an hour-and-a-half away from the other. Somethings got to give.