Woodstock 50 Permit Denied by Another Proposed Site

Time is running out to stage an anniversary festival

July 10, 2019

VERNON, NY (AP/1010 WINS) The upstate New York town of Vernon has denied Woodstock 50's application to host the three-day festival at Vernon Downs horse track.

There was a lack of planning documents included in the application, which was submitted late, according to Vernon town attorney Vincent Rossi.

“Each application submitted, one for each of the three days, was one page long with no supporting materials,” he said. “The submission was obviously inadequate.”

Holding the Woodstock 50 festival at a horse track on short notice could be a safety risk, Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol said.

Maciol is among the local officials and residents expressing concerns about Vernon Downs harness track and casino hosting the anniversary festival Aug. 16-18.

The track belatedly emerged as a possible festival site after the original venue, Watkins Glen International, pulled out last month.

A festival at Vernon Downs could host up to 65,000 people, as opposed to the 150,000 planned for Watkins Glen, and it would not feature camping.

But some residents of the largely rural area told a packed Vernon town board meeting Monday night that they're worried about safety and traffic. Maciol told the crowd that it would be impossible to ensure public safety in about 40 days.

Woodstock 50 president Greg Peck had said Tuesday that the group is working with law enforcement and public safety officials to address concerns.

"We are confident that this careful planning and consideration of community concerns will result in a safe, world-class festival," Peck said in a prepared release.

Still, questions remain as to how organizers could put together a festival in a matter of weeks. Interestingly, though, the Black Keys are the only headliner to have officially pulled out of Woodstock 50 so far. The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z and Imagine Dragons are among the dozens of artists that still seem to be committed.