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Woodstock
Woodstock 1969 via Wikimedia Commons

Woodstock 50 is looking like a disaster already

The festival was cancelled and then uncancelled in a matter of hours

The second Summer of Love has been cancelled. It has been announced that a festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock – which is due to feature Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, and the Grateful Dead –  has been dropped as a result of major sponsors pulling out.

Financial backers from Dentsu Aegis, the firm funding the festival, say that they don’t believe the celebration could be “executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name”, adding “As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.”

However just this morning organisers separate from the festival’s fundraisers “vehemently denied” these claims. Michael Lang, a lead organiser of the original 1969 event who is also involved with the production of Woodstock 50, says that Dentsu “do not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival,” adding that he was “caught by surprise” by the funder’s announcement.

Organisers say in a statement released today that they plan to continue with the celebration: “We are committed to ensuring that the 50th anniversary of Woodstock is marked with a festival deserving of its iconic name and place in American history and culture. Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will of course be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners.”

The alarm was first raised on April 22 when tickets for the anniversary celebration due to be held in Watkins Glen – a small town in upstate New York with a population of less than 2,000 – failed to go up for sale as planned.

You can follow updates on Woodstock 50 on their website and twitter.