After weeks of leaks and rumors, the official lineup for Woodstock 50 finally arrived on Tuesday night, making good on many of the promises promoters made when plans for the 50th anniversary event first began.
"The lineup will be a mix of some of the old bands who are still performing and a lot of new headline talent" festival co-founder Michael Lang explained earlier this year. "Probably more than any other festival's ever had. It'll cross genres from rock to pop, folk and hip hop."
Lang and his partners delivered, bringing in a solid mix of genres and next level artists from Imagine Dragons to Miley Cyrus to Jay-Z. There's also a definite deference paid to artists that participated in the original event, popping up across the bill for all three days in Watkins Glen, NY.
At first blush, it's easy to gloss over the acts assembled because of the sheer amount of festival lineups we see each year. The fatigue of so many shows with so many amazing artists can make you numb to an announcement like this, but after stepping back a bit, the Woodstock 50 lineup is actually really strong. It's balanced, it's conscious, and it continues on the legacy that has been built before it.
It was a near impossible task to book the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. It's an event that has grown in legend with each passing decade, a culture touchstone more than a concert. The Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix moments are unmatched and impossible to recreate. Along with a handful of others, those are the performances that have been passed down, graced with the benefit of time. In actuality, a look at the full lineup for the 3 day event in 1969 reads similar to most festivals 50 years later. There are headliners and a few must see big names at the top, but as the set times start earlier and the font gets smaller, so does the demand in most cases. In the memory of most, Woodstock is given certain luxuries for being one of the first. That's an impossible legend to compete with.
Woodstock 50 features many of the original's best available performers. With the exception of The Who and those taken by time, anyone you really wish you could see from the 1969 edition will be a part of the 2019 version. Here's a reminder of 8 artists that played the original and are set for Woodstock 50.
Dead and Company
The Grateful Dead played Woodstock in 1969, starting late on Saturday night and going into the first minutes of Sunday morning. Now Dead & Company is back 50 years later to headline the Saturday night schedule.
Country Joe McDonald
Country Joe McDonald returns with his psychedelic style and counterculture songs, possibly ready for another spelling lesson.
John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful wasn't planning on playing Woodstock, but was a part of a rain break and the legend of the original. He's back again, scheduled this time for 2019.
"Going Up the Country" one more time for the blues-rock band from Los Angeles.
Carlos Santana might be the biggest name left from the original edition, and he's set to have a busy weekend. The guitarist will be a part of Woodstock 50 and a celebration the same weekend at the original site of Bethel Woods.
David Crosby And Friends
Can you even call it Woodstock if someone from CSN&Y isn't there? Waiting on word for who the "friends" are, but David Crosby will be there for sure.
We don't have Jefferson Airplane to grace the stage, but at least we have Hot Tuna. Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady are part of what remains and a great addition to Woodstock 50.
The voice of CCR looks to have another generation-spanning performance for the 50th anniversary of the festival. Arguably the most active and one of the most exciting artists from the original to watch for.
Tickets for Woodstock 50 will go on sale April 22nd. For more information check out Woodstock.com.