Staging Woodstock 50 a challenge, says upstate NY official

Members of Jefferson Starship (L-R) Paul Kantner, Cathy Richardson, Slick Aguilar and David Frieberg perform at the concert marking the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival August 15, 2009 in Bethel, New York. On August 15-17 in 1969 an estimated 400,000 music fans gathered on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York for one of the most celebrated music festivals ever. The 40th anniversary concert will take place tonight. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) 7-2-2019

VERNON, N.Y. (AP) — A key local official says hosting the Woodstock 50 anniversary festival on short notice “could pose a significant challenge.”

A mass gathering permit application for the Vernon Downs harness track and casino in central New York was recently filed after operators of the original festival site pulled out last month.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente released a statement Tuesday noting the challenge of preparing for the health and safety of residents and concert goers with the event just over a month away.

The Woodstock festival has faced a series of setbacks, including the losses of a financial partner, a production company and original site, Watkins Glen International.

Vernon Downs has said they can host up to 65,000 people, far fewer than the 150,000 planned for Watkins Glen.

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