John Fogerty Reveals Woodstock 50 Plans … If It Goes Ahead
There's some doubt now whether or not Woodstock 50 will actually take place, after the main financier announced that the event had been canceled, leading promoter Michael Lang – who co-created the original festival – to insist it would go ahead and would be “a blast.”
Fogerty, who last month took part in a press event announcing the anniversary show, said alarm bells had been going off for some time.
“They postponed announcing the tickets, and I remember reading a while ago that they didn’t have some of the permits,” he told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “That just blew my mind. You’d think it would be the first thing you’d do and not the last thing. You got the sense there was some shakiness to this whole thing. But the first Woodstock happened more by people wishing for it to happen than any effort of great organization.”
He also said he was planning to play the 11-song set delivery by Creedence in 1969, and that he’d play the RIckenbacker guitar he had at the time after his wife located it in a collection and bought it back for him. Creedence were forced to go on later than expected after the Grateful Dead's show ran long, but Fogerty said he was “actually looking forward” to seeing Dead & Company at Woodstock 50.
Watch Creedence Clearwater Revival at Woodstock in 1969
“I was looking forward to seeing how [the festival] would get reworked 50 years later,” he said. “What the young people would think about it and what the younger artists would think. It’s not every day you get to go back to a 50-year reunion.”
He added that he believed he was paid in advance, and if the festival didn’t go ahead. he’d donate his fee to military veterans. “I’m from old-fashioned America," he explained. "I hate to be paid for doing nothing.” Noting that he was still “ready to show up,” he said. “For Woodstock 75, we can all still get together and sing ‘Kumbaya.’ They should start working on getting the permits right now.”
Meanwhile, a TMZ report suggested that financiers Amlifi Live, a part of Dentsu Aegis Network, pulled out after the capacity for the event at Watkins Glen International Speedway in Watkins Glen, N.Y., was cut in half. The original intention was to sell 150,000 tickets, but city officials ruled that land had to be allocated for camping, meaning space was available for only 75,000 attendees.
“We're told Amplifi Live needed a minimum of 100,000 attendees to make a go of it, so the company pulled the plug,” the report said. “It's kind of weird ... no one seemed to factor in that there aren't a whole lot of hotels or Airbnbs in the small New York town with a population of around 2,000.”