The Woodstock 50 Festival Is Back On

Esequiel Farfan
May 18, 2019

Woodstock 50 filed for a court order against Dentsu, claiming they had no legal right or authority to cancel the festival.

Pitchfork reports Ostrager clarified that Woodstock 50 "has not met the high burden entitling it to a mandatory injunction" that would force Dentsu's investment arm, Amplifi Live, to return $17.8 million to the festival's bank account. The confict was rooted in the fact that Woodstock 50 was facing problems.

Denstu will not have to return the $18 million it withdrew from a bank account it shared with Woodstock 50, a New York Supreme Court justice ruled Wednesday (May 15).

Organizers of the music festival - which is being held, in part, as a celebration of the original, iconic Woodstock festival in 1969 - came out partially victorious in their court battle against their former financial partners, Dentsu Aegis Network. "While we understand that pursuant to the court's ruling Amplifi Live can not cancel the festival without Woodstock 50's agreement, at this time we do not intend to further invest in the festival due to the issues noted by the court, as well as the compressed timeframe, and multiple health and safety concerns".

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Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang also said, "We have always relied on the truth and have never lost faith that the Festival would take place". I would like to thank all of the talent and their representatives for their patience and support. However, the Woodstock 50 founder combatted those claims by saying that it's still going on but unfortunately, he's out of $17.8M that was meant for the festival.

In the original financing agreement with Amplifi Live, Lang had promised 150,000 tickets would be sold, according to court papers. It's one more major hurdle for the festival, which also lacks permits needed to stage the 75,000-person event. Superfly raised several other concerns such as water and drainage systems needing to be built, and then also pulled out of the festival this month.

According to Justice Ostrager, Woodstock 50's contract with Dentsu - and their subsidiary, Amplifi Live - did not entitle them to control the money, and that Amplifi Live had a right to "mitigate its damages" after concluding that the festival's future was untenable.

All Woodstock 50 performers - including Jay-Z, Santana, Miley Cyrus, The Killers, Chance the Rapper, John Fogerty, Janelle Monae, Dead & Company, Halsey, and Imagine Dragons - have been paid in advance. The festival is scheduled for August 16-18 in Watkins Glen, NY, with an eclectic lineup of artists like Dead & Company, Santana, Jay-Z, Robert Plant, The Killers, Chance the Rapper, Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus, Gary Clark Jr., Sturgill Simpson, The Raconteurs and many more.

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