Since the announcement of Woodstock 50, music lovers across the globe have been eagerly anticipating the release of the festival’s official lineup.
The golden anniversary event is being organized by original Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang. His plan is to commemorate the legacy of the world-renowned music festival — which took place in New York state in August 1969 — with a lineup filled with old, new and very familiar musicians.
Although an official announcement has yet to be made, a rumoured lineup was revealed by Variety on Thursday, after the publication claimed that more than 20 artists had already been paid the full amount of their offers.
The list of big names and potential headliners included Jay Z, The Black Keys, Chance the Rapper, The Killers, Robert Plant, Cage the Elephant, Run the Jewels, Imagine Dragons, The Raconteurs, Miley Cyrus and Greta Van Fleet, among many others.
Although the majority of the suggested lineup includes modern hip-hop artists, there are a fair share of rockers and rumoured legacy acts set to make their return, including Dead & Company.
The Grateful Dead tribute act was founded by John Mayer and the former band’s surviving members in 2015. The psychedelic rockers performed into the hours of early Sunday morning during the original cultural landmark event. They are now rumoured to be making their comeback at Woodstock 50.
Woodstock Music and Arts Fair 2019 takes place in Watkins Glen, N.Y., on Aug. 16-18.
Margo Price, Sturgill Simpson and Dawes are also rumoured to be making appearances at Woodstock 50, along with Halsey, Gary Clark Jr., Portugal the Man, Courtney Barnett, The Lumineers, Bishop Briggs, Pussy Riot, Dorothy, Janelle Monae and Brandi Carlile.
Thanks to Lang’s company, Woodstock Ventures, Woodstock has celebrated a number of anniversaries since 1969. Special weekend-long festivals have run in 1979, 1989, 1994 and 1999.
Most recently — the summer of 2009, to be precise — Lang invited a number of Woodstock alumni to join forces on an American tour entitled Heroes of Woodstock for the festival’s 40th anniversary.
Among the legacy musicians were Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Canned Heat, Ten Years After, Tom Constanten and the odd appearance by Edgar Winter and John Sebastian.
For those who are unaware, there will actually be two different festivals celebrating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock this year.
They happen to take place on the same weekend — Aug. 16-18 — and in the same state, which means music fans may have to decide between the two.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Woodstock alum Carlos Santana confirmed that his band had opted to play the other festival — the Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival — to the dismay of many longtime fans.
The guitarist’s career skyrocketed after playing a 45-minute set with his band, Santana, at the original Woodstock in 1969. As a result, Santana decided that a performance at Bethel Woods would be the most suitable way to celebrate its anniversary.
The opposing event will take place at the original location of the legendary festival on a massive farm, near White Lake in Bethel, N.Y.
The idea is to celebrate the historic site as well as the heritage of the music that dominated Woodstock back in 1969 — as opposed to the supposedly modern-heavy lineup of Lang’s festival.
Although Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival’s full lineup has yet to be announced, the three-day event is already promising heavy competition against the official Woodstock 50.
They’re offering not only Santana but Ringo Starr, the Edgar Winter Band, the Doobie Brothers and many other special musical guests.
Santana, 71, has not yet confirmed whether the band will also make an appearance at Lang’s Woodstock 50.
However, it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to, as the band has already committed to playing two shows in New York on Aug. 16 and 18 during the recently announced Supernatural Now tour, meaning they are available for one night only.
Billboard, however, has reported otherwise, claiming deposits have already been paid to ensure Santana’s appearance at Woodstock 50.
According to the Associated Press, Lang revealed that an official Woodstock 50 statement will be coming soon, along with a confirmed lineup.
“We are thrilled with all the excitement about Woodstock 50, but we have an obligation to our fans, artists and partners to do things the right way,” he said.
“We are in the final stages of laying the groundwork and can’t wait to stage this once-in-a-lifetime event,” Lang continued. “We’ll be officially announcing the lineup and tickets (will be) on sale soon. Stay tuned!”
Updates can be found on the official Woodstock website.
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