The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, Dead & Company, Chance The Rapper, The Black Keys, Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons and Halsey will headline The Woodstock 50 Music and Arts Fair. The official lineup for the three-day 50th anniversary celebration of the iconic rock festival includes more than 80 musical acts spanning generations. Woodstock 50 runs from August 16 though 18, Woodstock’s 50th anniversary weekend, Aug. 16-18. It is happening in Watkins Glen, N.Y., about 115 miles northwest of the original site.
“We’ve lined up artists who won’t just entertain but will remind the world that music has the power to bring people together, to heal, to move us to action and to tell the stories of a generation,” Michael Lang, who was the co-founder and original promoter of the 1969 Woodstock Festival,” said in a statement. “Our hope is that today, just as in 1969, music will be the constant that can inspire positive change.”
Lang sat between Common and John Fogerty, who performed with Creedence Clearwater Revival shortly after midnight on August 17, 1969. Their performance was a highlight, though it did not make the film. Lang made the announcement at a press conference at Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios in New York City. Hendrix was the last act to perform at the original Woodstock. He had to wait for some heavy rain the to pass and didn’t go on until 8:30 in the morning on Monday. After most of the 400,000 people who attended had left. Only 30,000 people witnessed the legendary performance by Hendrix and his new band, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows. They played for two hours.
The original The Woodstock Music & Arts Fair, An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music, was held August 15 through 18, 1969 at a 600-acre dairy farm Max Yasgur owned near White Lake in Bethel, New York. It was 43 miles southwest of Woodstock. More than half a million people came to upstate New York for the 3 days of Peace & Music.The show opened with Richie Havens, who played almost three hours while the other bands were stuck in the traffic jam they themselves created. Psychedelic folk band Sweetwater was scheduled to open. Sri Swami Satchidananda gave the spiritual opening.
The four-day gathering was one of the counterculture’s best shows. Babies were born, no one was shot, like at the later Altamount concert. Rain showers became mudslides and nobody had to call the National Guard. The legendary Woodstock Music and Arts Fair was a reaction by the youth of its time to the tumultuous conditions they faced and the causes that inspired them: civil rights, women’s rights and the antiwar movement. Woodstock was a defining cultural and historical moment that brought hundreds of thousands of attendees together for music, peace and love. 32 acts hit the stage in what Rolling Stone lists as number 19 of the “50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.”
Woodstock 50 will include legacy acts Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, David Crosby and Friends, John Fogerty, Canned Heat, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian and Melanie. The show will conain tributes to Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Band and Joe Cocker.
Scheduled on Aug. 16, Friday: The Killers, Miley Cyrus, The Lumineers, The Raconteurs, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, Run The Jewels, The Head and The Heart, Maggie Rogers, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Bishop Briggs, Anderson East, Akon, Princess Nokia, Grandson, Fever 333, Larkin Poe, Dorothy, Flora Cash, Brian Cadd, Ninet Tayeb and more.
Scheduled on Aug. 17, Saturday: 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, Dawes, Margo Price, Nahko And Medicine For The People, India.Arie, Jade Bird, Rival Sons, Emily King, Soccer Mommy, SiR, Taylor Bennett, Amy Helm, Courtney Hadwin, Pearl, John-Robert, IAMDDB. and more.
Scheduled on Aug. 18, Sunday: Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Cage the Elephant, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monáe, Young the Giant, Courtney Barnett, Common, Vince Staples, Judah and The Lion, Earl Sweatshirt, Boygenius, Reignwolf, The Zombies, Pussy Riot, Cherry Glazerr, Leven Kali, The Marcus King Band, Victory, Hollis Brown, John Craigie, Amigo The Devil, Liz Brasher and more.
The Woodstock 50 Music and Arts Fair is separate from an anniversary concert planned at the site of the original festival in 1969. Ringo Starr and Santana will host a screening of the concert film Woodstock: The Director’s Cut at New York’s Bethel Woods Center for the Arts’ half-centennial event on Thursday, August 15th. Starr and the Edgar Winter Band will perform Friday at the amphitheater. Santana and the Doobie Brothers will play Saturday.
Tickets for The Woodstock 50 Music and Arts Fair go on sale on Earth Day, April 22. Pricing is not yet available.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.