Woodstock 50 to Celebrate the Historic Festival With Headliners Dead & Company, Jay-Z, The Killers
The zeitgeist has a way of slyly shifting shapes, and before you know it, the world around you, and the hive mind that inhabits it, have taken on new proportions, and assumed new forms altogether. Few music events effectively encapsulate such seismic shifts, bookmarking new chapters in history. As the conformity of the 1950s gave way to the counterculture of the ‘60s — sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, protest and rebellion, the increasing divergence of youth from elders — one event hammered the final nail into the coffin with a shot heard around the world. Billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music,” Woodstock took over a 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York during the summer of ‘69. Such era-defining artists as the Who, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin made history. Joan Baez performed six months pregnant, Ravi Shankar played his sitar through the rain, and Jimi Hendrix reimagined the Star-Spangled Banner in the spectacular closing act. Now, fifty years later, a staggering lineup of artists spanning genres and generations will take the stage for “Woodstock 50.” The lineup has just been announced.
The festival will take up three main stages on a 1000 acre lot within the Glen Racetrack at Watkins Glen, NY, 150 miles from the original location. Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang has organized the event, culling acts from the highest ranks of rock, hip-hop, pop and country. Several original performers are scheduled to appear, offering a fresh reminder of Woodstock’s scope and spirit. Legends like John Sebastian, Country Joe McDonald, Canned Heat, Hot Tuna and John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival are sure to ground this year’s festival in tradition, facilitating a fuller appreciation of its historic resonance. Among the most exciting acts announced is Dead & Company which unites John Mayer with Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir, as well as former Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.
Day one, August 16, will see performances from The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, The Lumineers, The Raconteurs, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, John Fogerty, Run the Jewels, The Head and the Heart, Maggie Rogers, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Bishop Briggs, Anderson East, Akon, Princess Nokia, John Sebastian, Melanie, Grandson, Fever 333, Dorothy, Flora Cash, Larkin Poe, Brian Cadd and Ninet Tayeb.
The second day will host Dead & Company, Chance the Rapper, The Black Keys, Sturgill Simpson, Greta Van Fleet, Portugal, The Man, Leon Bridges, Gary Clark Jr., Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, David Crosby and Friends, Dawes, Margo Price, Nahko and Medicine for the People, India.Arie, Jade Bird, Country Joe McDonald, Rival Sons, Emily King, Soccer Mommy, Sir, Taylor Bennett, Amy Helm, Courtney Hadwin, Pearl, John-Robert and IAMDDB.
For the final day, Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Cage the Elephant, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monae, Young the Giant, Courtney Barnett, Common, Vince Staples, Judah and the Lion, Earl Sweatshirt, Boygenius, Reignwolf, The Zombies, Canned Heat, Hot Tuna, Pussy Riot, Cherry Glazerr, Leven Kali, The Marcus King Band, Victory, Hollis Brown, John Craigie, Amigo the Devil, and Liz Brasher will all take the stage.
The original Woodstock became free of charge only after hordes of hippies stormed the premises in far greater numbers than expected. Faced with approximately 400,000 agents of counterculture, the authorities were left with no option than to shrug it all off and make way. As one might expect, corporatism has taken note, and anticipated any mishaps this time around, planning to limit tickets to roughly 100,000. Passes to the festival will be available shortly on the official website, so secure a place, lest you find yourself forced to take part in another mass invasion.