Published May 13, 2019After Woodstock 50 organizers hit their now-gone chief investors with legal action, financier Dentsu is firing back, accusing Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang and the event of "misrepresentations, incompetence and contractual breaches."
Ahead of a hearing this afternoon seeking an emergency injunction of $17.8 million USD in funding, Dentsu's lawyers released a series of blistering comments about Woodstock 50 and specifically Lang, Billboard reports.
"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 lawyer Marc L. Greenwald wrote in response to Woodstock's request for an injunction over the $17.8 million Woodstock is demanding Dentsu return.
"The production company has quit, no permits have been issued, necessary roadwork has not begun, and there is no prospect for sufficient financing," Greenwald continued. "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."
As previously reported, the fallout comes after chief investor, Japan's Dentsu Aegis Network, announced late last month that Woodstock 50 was cancelled — a move Woodstock 50 organizers said was premature.
"W50 [Woodstock 50, LLC] was blindsided by Dentsu's announcement, and shocked and outraged that Dentsu claimed the right to unilaterally cancel the Festival — an action that is expressly barred by its Agreement with W50," organizers' complaint read. "Dentsu's sabotage did not stop with its unauthorized and improper cancellation announcement. Dentsu also pillaged the Festival bank account on its way out, taking all of the $17.8 million in the account earmarked for Festival production costs."
The festival is now asking that $17.8 million be returned, with a New York court set to make a ruling on the case perhaps as early as this afternoon.
At this point, Woodstock 50 is still apparently looking to secure $30 million USD in addition funding to produce the festival, which had been set to run from August 16 to 18 at Watkins Glen, NY. This comes after both Dentsu Aegis Network and major production partner Superfly announced they would both be pulling out of the festival.
Woodstock 50 had been set to feature the likes of JAY-Z, the Killers, Chance the Rapper and Imagine Dragons — and Lang has been adamant the show will go on. So far, though, no tickets for the event have gone on sale.