‘WOODSTOCK 50’ CANCELED OVER FINANCIAL, LOGISTICAL ISSUES – (04/30/2019)
The proposed Woodstock 50 festival in Watkins Glen, New York, slated to mark the 50th anniversary of the legendary music festival that first took place in 1969, has been canceled. According to Billboard, the festival was canceled due to concerns about the capacity of the festival, permit issues and site readiness.
On Monday (April 29th), Dentsu, one of the festival’s main investors, announced that the show, organized in part by Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, would not proceed. Dentsu said in a statement, “Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees. As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplify Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival.”
Meanwhile, a representative for the festival issued a statement to the Poughkeepsie Journal saying, “Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival’s cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought.” Michael Lang’s publicist told Billboard, “We do not have a statement and are awaiting further advice.”
The lineup, announced last month, had included The Killers, The Lumineers, The Raconteurs, Robert Plant, Greta Van Fleet, Portugal. The Man, Imagine Dragons, Cage The Elephant, Miley Cyrus, Halsey, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monae, Vince Staples and many others, although the Black Keys pulled out of the event after being part of the initial bill.
Veterans of the 1969 event who were confirmed to perform included John Fogerty, Santana, Dead & Company, David Crosby & Friends, John Sebastian, Melanie, Canned Heat, Country Joe McDonald and Hot Tuna.
Tickets for the three-day event were supposed to go on sale April 22nd, but the sale was delayed, prompting rumors that the three-day event — set to take place from August 16th through the 18th, the exact 50th anniversary of the original culture-defining event — was in trouble.
According to Billboard, $30 million had already been spent on securing talent for the festival, and organizers allegedly sought another $20 million to keep it afloat last week. Experienced concert organizers were also approached about helping to salvage the show, although two of the biggest — AEG and Live Nation — reportedly both passed.
JOHN SINGLETON DIES AT AGE 51 – (04/30/2019)
The Oscar-nominated writer and director of Boyz N the Hood was taken off of life support Monday, 13 days after a major stroke. John Singleton, 51, has been on life support since the stroke.
“John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends,” Singleton’s family said in a statement. “We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time.”
“It is with heavy hearts we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton will be taken off of life support today,” a spokesperson for the family said. “This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.”
His spokesman noted that Singleton struggled with hypertension, adding: “More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe. His family wants to share the message with all to please recognize the symptoms by going to Heart.org.”
In addition to Boyz N the Hood, Singleton’s work, which spanned genres and generations, included a remake of Shaft, historical films such as Rosewood, action films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious, and films that questioned the meaning of American masculinity such as Baby Boy and Four Brothers. He also worked with TV and streaming platforms as a director on hits like Billions, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Empire.
He is often celebrated for having the foresight to bring mega-talents like Tupac Shakur, Regina King, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Ice Cube, Tyrese and Taraji P. Henson to the attention of the wider public. Henson and Tyrese were among the celebrities who visited Singleton in the hospital.
Early in his career, he directed the Michael Jackson music video for “Remember the Time.”
Boyz N the Hood remains one of the definitive movies of a generation. It also led to his Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay at age 24; he was the youngest filmmaker and the first African American to earn a nomination in those categories. Boyz N the Hood is currently housed in the Library of Congress.
After Singleton’s stroke, his mother Sheila Ward triggered a legal battle when she asked to be named conservator so she could oversee his business affairs. Singleton’s daughter Cleopatra objected to Ward’s description of Singleton being in a coma, and filed court docs claiming he was “progressing every day.”
She said Ward has “abused” her position as Singleton’s manager and has “stated she plans to liquidate his assets immediately and leave his children with nothing.”
TAYLOR SWIFT RESPONDS TO ‘KALEIDOSCOPE’ ALBUM TITLE THEORY – (04/30/2019)
Taylor Swift is responding to the theories of what her upcoming seventh album might be titled.
Following the release of her “ME!” music video, the 29-year-old singer teased that the album title is hidden in the video – along with a slew of other hidden Easter eggs.
“So… the new album title is actually revealed somewhere in the video AND so is the title of the second single, but I haven’t seen people finding them yet…” Taylor tweeted. Fans did some sleuthing and noticed that the video starts with a snake turning into a group of butterflies. A group of butterflies is called a “kaleidoscope” and fans think that could be the album title.
During an interview on Nova radio show Smallzy’s Surgery, Taylor responded to the theory, saying: “I’m not gonna comment because I really do respect those theories so much, but I’m going to tell them [the fans] all the information when I tell them!”
Before the playful new video featuring Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie premiered at midnight on April 26th, Swift already had fans ready for the serious detective work ahead of them.
“Okay regarding Easter eggs.. there are a lot of them in this video. Some you’ll find out right away and some will take a minute to reveal their meaning (omg why am I talking like a sorcerer),” she first revealed during a YouTube Q&A with her fans in the hours leading up to its debut.
In a 15-minute Instagram live video with Urie that streamed Friday, Swift further teased: “The biggest Easter egg of this entire thing has been missed. But the whole thing … it’s literally the most obvious one I put in the video and nobody has guessed it yet.”
Later that night, she shook things up with a bigger bombshell: “So… the new album title is actually revealed somewhere in the video AND so is the title of the second single, but I haven’t seen people finding them yet.”
See below for other Easter Eggs in the video as well as more fan theories.
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