In case you missed it yesterday…Howard County Government released the following press release:

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball Working With “Woodstock 50” Promoters To Hold Historic Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion 

ELLICOTT CITY – Media outlets have reported that “Woodstock 50”, a music festival marking the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, is now planned to be held at Merriweather Post Pavilion in August. After being forced to cancel at its initial venue, the future of this historic festival was put in doubt. Now, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and the venue are working with concert promoters to save the festival and hold the event at Merriweather Post Pavilion. County Executive Ball has released the following statement:

“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 JazzFest, and more. We will continue checking all our boxes to ensure we put on an event of the caliber this historic festival deserves.

In 1969, a farmer with a vision made history, bringing us together under the banner of ‘Peace & Music’. Around the same time, the town of Columbia was founded here in Howard County with the same shared values of inclusion and communal love. Fifty years later, it feels like the perfect fit to bring a world-class festival to our world-class city.

As Howard County Executive, I welcome Woodstock 50 to our community and look forward to marking a unique moment in cultural history.”


A key piece to the release (to me) was the “Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and the venue are working with concert promoters to save the festival and hold the event at Merriweather Post Pavilion”…are working means it is not officially a done deal yet. Great that they are working on it and I am hoping they can make it all work out.

WTOP released the following information yesterday: Not a done deal: Hurdles remain for Woodstock 50 at Merriweather Post

Noted in that article are concerns about which artist and bands the event organizers could sign to attend the event in Howard County (Jay-Z and John Fogerty had previously pulled out of the event). “Most of the originally signed bands have been paid, but their contracts were tied to Woodstock being held in upstate New York, Billboard reported in May”…so they might not be in a position to come here for the event. “Billboard reported organizers had released all of the bands originally signed for the show from their contracts. Agents invited them to perform at Merriweather Post Pavillon, but informed them they weren’t obligated.” This could be significant.

The original festival was planned for 3 days…and now that is in question if the event comes to Howard County (it could be 2 days or even 1 day). It will probably come down to how many artist and bands the organizers can get signed for the event.

Lastly the dates of the event (originally planned for August 16 – Aug 18). The website ( has not changed any of its information yet. If the event is moved…will they change the dates? August 16 is only 20 days away.

All of this being said…I am hoping that the county and event organizers can find a way to make the event happen here in Howard County. They have a lot of things to work out in a short amount of time…but it would be great to have the event here in our backyard.

Scott E


  1. No chance this comes to fruition…this was just a nice PR move by Ball to get Columbia in the news for a few days.

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