From Miley Cyrus to The Raconteurs, more artists withdraw from Woodstock 50

The festival’s line-up continues to shrink

The list of artists pulling out from Woodstock 50 continues to grow: Miley Cyrus, The Raconteurs, Santana and The Lumineers are just a few of the acts that have withdrawn from the 50th anniversary commemoration of the legendary 1969 festival.

On Tuesday (July 30), Variety reported that Cyrus, who was one of the original headliners, had ditched the festival. Shortly after, The Raconteurs followed suit. Instead of Woodstock 50 – which is due to take place from August 16-18 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland – the band will play a show at The Rapids Theatre in Niagara, New York, Rolling Stone reports.

The Lumineers, Santana and Pussy Riot have also backed out, per RS. This slew of withdrawals follows earlier cancellations by Jay-Z, Dead & Company and John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Fogerty, who played at the original 1969 festival, was the first artist to publicly drop out following the beleaguered festival’s last-minute move to Maryland after organisers were denied permits to hold the event in Vernon, New York.

Woodstock 50 also reportedly released all the acts on the line-up from their contracts, notifying artist agents that they would not force them to play, but inviting them to fulfil their performances if they pleased.

“The Woodstock folks are working on securing the artists now,” Merriweather Post Pavilion operator Seth Hurwitz said in a statement last week. “If the bands come, we’ll produce the show. We’re looking forward to getting an update as soon as Woodstock 50 has one.”

Besides a confirmed line-up, Woodstock 50 still needs to clinch the necessary permits to hold the event at the new venue. As of Tuesday (30 July), the festival has yet to apply for a permit, a spokesperson for Howard County in Maryland told Rolling Stone.

The festival – if it does take place – will now be a free event. Other artists that have yet to confirm their participation following these developments include The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Chance the Rapper and Halsey.

One band that has publicly vowed to play this revised edition of Woodstock 50 is The Zombies. “I’ve always believed it would happen, which might sound kooky, but we’re at a messed-up moment in time right now and the spirit of Woodstock is something that we need,” the English band’s co-manager Cindy da Silva told Variety.