The saga of the continuously-troubled Woodstock 50 concert is still raging on, with the anniversary festival now set to become a free benefit gig instead.

Earlier this year, organisers announced that this August was set to feature a rather special event, with a 50th anniversary concert taking place in honour of the original Woodstock festival.

While an underwhelming lineup soon gave way to fears of a cancellation, the financial backer pulled out, noting that the festival was indeed cancelled, before organisers took them to court and assured fans it was still business as usual.

However, the bad news continues to come forward, and with weeks to go until the kick-off, Woodstock 50 has had its venue permit application denied multiple times, leaving organisers no choice but to think outside the box.

Now, as TMZ notes, Woodstock 50 has reportedly been forced to relocate from its originally-planned location of New York state, to the iconic Merriweather Post Pavilion in the state of Maryland.

The bombshells don’t end there though, with the beleaguered festival now reportedly becoming a free benefit concert, with attendees being asked to donate to charity.

Asked for comment by Pitchfork, venue operators explained that they were yet to hear confirmation of the new ticketing model, but confirmed that it had indeed been brought to their attention.

“That was the last thing we heard too,” operator operator Seth Hurwitz explained. “We’re still waiting to hear who is playing, but that’s not our job. They do still have a venue if they have a show.”

Although Hurwitz notes that the eventual lineup is still yet to be decided upon, reports have come forward that both the likes of Jay-Z, John Fogerty, and The Grateful Dead spinoff Dead & Company have pulled out of this year’s event.

While Dead & Company have not issued a statement to confirm their departure from the festival, fellow Woodstock 1969 alumni John Fogerty explain that he “knows where he will be for the anniversary weekend of Woodstock. At only one site … At the original one – the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.”

Similarly, a source close to Jay-Z explained that while he couldn’t discuss the details of the matter, the Brooklyn rapper will no longer close the planned three-day event.

At this stage, Woodstock 50 is turning into something of a mess, but it remains to be seen if and how organisers will manage to salvage the future plans of this iconic anniversary.

Check out Creedence Clearwater Revival at Woodstock:

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