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Woodstock 50th anniversary festival to be held at Watkins Glen

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Woodstock logo (Photo: MGN Online)

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WHAM) - The 50th anniversary music celebration honoring of the biggest music festivals in American history will be coming to the Finger Lakes region.

Rolling Stone reported Wednesday morning that Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang confirmed a three-day festival honoring the original Woodstock Music Festival will be held in the Finger Lakes.

The festival is scheduled for August 16-18, 2019.

Tickets are scheduled to go on sale in February. Prices have not yet been announced.

At the local level, however, the festival is still far from being approved.

Schuyler County Administrator Tim O'Hearn said the county has been talking with the promoter, but no permit applications have been submitted yet. The permit applications need to be submitted through and approved by the New York State Department of Health.

"In essence, we have the equivalent of a large city in our county for 3 to 5 days," O'Hearn said. "We need to make sure we have enough infrastructure to safely support both the attendees as well as our residents. So while we strongly support this and we recognize the significant economic impact and cultural impact that this brings, we also can't sacrifice public safety and well being to accomplish this. We don't think either one is mutually exclusive and I'm confident we'll work in partnership to host a very successful event."

O'Hearn estimated that the event would bring in approximately 100,000 people.

The Schuyler County Sheriff's Office has handed off jurisdiction over the event to the New York State Police due to its anticipated size.

"We are quite concerned this is a major event that hasn't happened since the summer jam of '73," said Undersheriff Breck Spaulding of the Schuyler County Sheriff's Office.

In a statement, the New York State Department of the Health said it looks forward to working with the event organizer.

Watkins Glen International routinely hosts large scale events which attract thousands of visitors to the area annually. Per State Sanitary Code, permitted mass gatherings must meet certain requirements.

Last August, the NYS DOH had to cancel the Curveball Festival with Phish, which was scheduled to be held at Watkins Glen. A severe storm the previous week had caused "untenable conditions" in the area, including unclean drinking water for anyone in the area.

An image on the Woodstock website states that "artist and ticket information" are "coming soon."

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