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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 April 2019

Woodstock 50: The Killers, Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus and Santana among confirmed artists

More than half a dozen artists who performed at the original 1969 festival will also take to the stage

Carlos Santana (right) and bassist David Brown perform at Woodstock '69. Santana will perform again at Woodstock 50 in 2019. Getty Images
Carlos Santana (right) and bassist David Brown perform at Woodstock '69. Santana will perform again at Woodstock 50 in 2019. Getty Images

August 15-18, 1969. White Lake, New York. About 400,000 revellers attended the first-ever Woodstock music festival, which was held on a dairy farm in the Catskill Mountains. Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker – some of the era’s most famous names performed over the weekend.

This was named as a defining moment in music – and counterculture – history. Rolling Stone has listed it in its 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.

That moment cannot be understated.

August 16-18, 2019. Watkins Glen, New York. About 80 acts are again hitting the Woodstock stage, exactly 50 years to the day. Some of those musicians were among the original line-up: Santana, John Sebastien, Canned Heat, John Fogerty from Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Alongside them, The Killers, Miley Cyrus, The Black Keys, Chance The Rapper, Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, Pussy Riot, The Lumineers, The Raconteurs – just a handful of the modern-day music heroes who will be performing over the celebratory three-day weekend.

It’s a decidedly eclectic line-up, designed to suit a range of tune-lovers. And all ages. It’s less about being a nostalgic nod to the ’60s, more a celebration of where we’re at in music today. This kind of musical mash-up can be seen in festival line-ups across the world (Glastonbury 2019 being a case in point).

The acts will perform across three stages: the Peace Stage, the Love Stage and Music Stage. Producer Michael Lang also worked on the original event.

“It’s kinda spooky how similar things are now,” he said at a press conference, referencing concerns such as racial divisions, climate problems and women’s issues.

There was another Woodstock held in 1999. At the time, Lang told Rolling Stone that it was “just a musical experience with no social significance. It was just a big party.

“With this one, we’re going back to our roots and our original intent.”

Mixed reactions

Not everyone agreed that the Woodstock 50 line-up was good. There has been much criticism on social media regarding the chosen acts.

Others, however, weren't as appalled.

None of this is to be confused with the unaffiliated and far more nostalgic Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival, which will take place at the same site as Woodstock ’69 on the exact same dates. Santana will also be performing at that event, as well as Ringo Starr and the Doobie Brothers.

Interested in attending Woodstock 50? Tickets go on sale on April 22. You can register to receive more information as and when it becomes available from www.woodstock.com

Updated: March 20, 2019 11:50 AM

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