And so the Woodstock 50 saga continues! The rise and fall of the iconic music festival has just been hit with another curve ball in the wake of their 50th anniversary.
About a month after Woodstock 50 was officially cancelled a series of internal documents were obtained by media source VICE, which revealed that despite the breakdown of performers, venues and schedule it was clear that the festival was prepared for one thing, and it was opioid overdoses.
Exclusive documents have revealed that Woodstock 50 organisers had ordered over $40,000 worth of Narcan, which is used to curb effects of opioid overdoses.
Woodstock 50 was supposed to be held at Vernon Downs in Upstate New York in celebration of the iconic festival’s 50th year. The organisers curated a bill that matched Woodstock heroes such as Canned Heat and David Crosby with stars of today including Jay-Z, The Killers and Miley Cyrus. The festival had an inevitably huge budget, spending up to $23 million on talent and as the leaked documents reveal, thousands of dollars on drugs to revive festival goers who overdose on fentanyl, heroin or other opioids.
In a statement to VICE, Woodstock 50 organiser Susan Cronin professed that the order was, “much bigger than what the industry standard would be”.
“We opted to do that for the local law enforcement agency and the intention was that we would donate all of the unused supply to local law enforcement”.
The exclusive documents also revealed that Woodstock 50 also planned to spend over $400,000 on porta-loos, which would give them 700 on-site bathrooms. Whilst this seems excessive, if the festival were to hit their target of 65,000 people this would equal to 1 bathroom for every 90 patrons, which is lower than the industry standard of 1 for every 100 people.
Original Woodstock festival organiser Michael Lang also spoke to Rolling Stone, saying that despite everything he is still “considering multiple events around the country during the coming year”.
As much as it seems like a terribly planned disaster of a cash-grab, Michael Lang may have been planning a safer, more fluently run festival than many would assume. Let’s just hope Lang’s learnt a few lessons from the famous 1969 disaster.