After being forced to cancel at its initial venue, what is now being called Woodstock 50 Washington, a music festival marking the 50th anniversary of the legendary Woodstock Music & Art Fair that was held in Bethel, NY, is now planned to be held at Merriweather Post Pavilion from Friday, Aug. 16 to Sunday, Aug. 18.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and the venue are working with concert promoters to save the festival and make the local event a success. Ball released a statement late last week, part of which is presented below:

“Holding Woodstock 50 at Merriweather is a remarkable opportunity to bring a piece of American history to our community this summer. When we heard that there was an opportunity to save this festival, we jumped at the chance. Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia is a jewel of Howard County and one of the top music venues in the nation.

“Today, Howard County is ready to do our part to host a safe and memorable event. We look forward to working with the venue and the promoters to complete the permit process and make this festival official. Right now, we are taking steps to complete the permit process, just as we do for every great event at Merriweather. Howard County is no stranger to hosting big concerts, from Virgin FreeFest to [Capital] Jazz Fest and more. We will continue checking all our boxes to ensure we put on an event of the caliber this historic festival deserves.

Previously scheduled acts, including John Fogerty, Jay-Z and Dead & Co. have pulled out of the event; and as of press time, the concert scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17, featuring the Smashing Pumpkins and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, is still listed on the schedule on Merriweather’s website. 

Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P. and operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion, said the opportunity came about as follows: “Woodstock 50 approached Merriweather about hosting their event here in Columbia,” he said. “The Woodstock folks are working on securing the artists now. If the bands come, we’ll produce the show. We’re looking forward to getting an update as soon as Woodstock 50 has one.”