Woodstock 50 Financier Hits Back at Michael Lang

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Woodstock 50 canceled as organizers admit they can’t make a concert worthy of the brand.

Woodstock 50 has been canceled. The group funding the multi-genre festival in Watkins Glen, N.Y. made the announcement on Monday (April 29) saying in part: “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.” according to  Fox News

Lawyer for Dentsu accuses Woodstock co-founder of “misrepresentations, incompetence, and contractual breaches”

Lawyers for Dentsu have punched back at Woodstock 50 co-founder Michael Lang ahead of a hearing this afternoon seeking an emergency injunction over nearly $18 million in funding for the anniversary event.

“Woodstock 50 LLC’s and Michael Lang’s misrepresentations, incompetence, and contractual breaches have made it impossible to produce a high-quality event that is safe and secure for concertgoers, artists, and staff,” Dentsu’s attorney Marc L. Greenwald wrote

The production company has quit, no permits have been issued, necessary roadwork has not begun, and there is no prospect for sufficient financing,” Greenwald wrote. “As much as the parties might wish it otherwise, the festival contemplated by their agreement cannot happen and allowing it to go forward would only put the public at risk.”

Last week, Woodstock 50 attorney Marc Kasowitz asked a judge to force the return of $18 million officials for Dentsu and its investment arm Amplifi Live13

Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price are two of the country artists who were slated to perform during the Aug. 16-18 festival. Headliners were the Killers, Dead & Company and Jay-Z. Previously the Black Keys pulled out of an announced headlining slot for the return of Woodstock. The on-sale date for tickets was also delayed prompting speculation of a cancelation.

Other artists set to play Woodstock with ties to country music include Brandi Carlile, Anderson East and Miley Cyrus. Nearly 100 artists were scheduled to play the festival, which billed itself as “3 days of peace, love and music.” Two previous anniversary concerts took place but both were in some ways disastrous due to rain and mud. The original Woodstock in 1969 is remembered for being overrun by fans. Nearly a half million attended a concert built for just 50,000 people.

Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live is the company that canceled the event. Billboard reports that concerns about site readiness, permitting and capacity were at play and just last week the company reached out to both AEG and Live Nation seeking $20 million to save the event. Both production companies declined.

“As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved,” the cancelation statement reads.

But while Dentsu’s statement ricocheted around the news media, Michael Lang, the promoter of Woodstock 50 and one of the primary forces behind the original festival in 1969, denied that the event was kaput.

“They do not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival,” Lang said in an interview shortly after Dentsu released its statement, which Lang said caught him by surprise.

On Monday evening, Mr. Lang’s team released a statement insisting that the show would go on, but giving no further details.

“We are committed to ensuring that the 50th anniversary of Woodstock is marked with a festival deserving of its iconic name and place in American history and culture,” the statement said. “Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will of course be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners.”

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