The town of Vernon is turning down a permit to stage the Woodstock 50 festival at Vernon Downs Casino and racetrack, saying the application is too late and incomplete.

Jim Free Photos
Jim Free Photos

Code enforcement said that the permit application for the event that’s expected to draw tens of thousands of concert-goers should have been filed in April in order for law enforcement and other officials to properly prepare for traffic and security for residents and the anticipated crowds.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says it would be impossible to ensure public safety for an event with up to 65,000 people with only weeks to go before the planned festival.

Vernon town attorney Vincent Rossi says organizers can appeal the permit denial to the town's planning board within five days.

July 8, residents crowded the town hall for a board meeting, most opposing the planned three-day festival, many citing a disastrous concert festival in Rome years ago that saw fires and crime as well as traffic and other disruptions for residents.

The Vernon Downs racetrack emerged as a possible festival site after the original venue, Watkins Glen International, pulled out last month.  The loss of that venue followed the festival being dropped by financial backers and some promotion partners.

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