If you blinked at any time over the past few months, there’s ever chance you missed the rise and fall of Woodstock 50, a failed reprisal of the iconic music festival set to the backdrop of its 50th anniversary. The event was hit with plenty of curve balls but in leaked internal documents, it’s clear the festival was prepared for at least one thing: Opioid overdoses.
In the documents obtained by VICE, it’s revealed Woodstock 50 organisers had ordered $US28,000 of the drug Narcan, used to curtail the effects of overdoses on heroin, fentanyl, or other opioids. Currently, one dose of Narcan will cost around $US40 meaning organisers had secured enough to prevent around 700 doses of the nasal spray.
Explaining the purchase to Vice, Woodstock 50 organiser Susan Cronin admitted that the order was “much bigger than what the industry standard would be,” but explained it wasn’t on account of the festival’s built-in audience; more so on account of the rampant opioid crisis that plagued Oneida County, the venue’s second locale after being booted from it’s original home of Watkins Glen, who withdrew their offer to host the event after Woodstock 50 investors decided to pull their support.
Oneida County Sheriff’s Office strongly encouraged the event have plenty of stock on hand, according to Cronin, “We opted to do that for the local law enforcement agency,” Cronin said. “And the intention was that we would donate all of the unused supply to local law enforcement.”
The leaked documents also reveal an order for $457,000 worth of porta-potties which would translate into 700 bathrooms on site. That may seem like a lot, but if the festival hit its target of 65,000, that would equate to around 1 bathroom for every 90 patrons, far lower than the industry standard of 1 for every 50 patrons.
Organisers also planned on bestowing upon their audience a hefty and broad list of band items. Chair or other seating devices were banned, as were yard games, flags on sticks or poles and umbrellas.
Woodstock 50 may have only lasted for around a month after its line up announcement, which featured Jay-Z, The Killers, Miley Cyrus, and Imagine Dragons, however plans to mark its 50th anniversary are still in the works. Michael Lang, who was behind the original event 50 years ago detailed a plan to host multiple, smaller events throughout North America.
“We have ideas. We believe that we were robbed of an opportunity in August. We’d like to do something, but we’re not ready to make any announcements.”