Published May 07, 2019Despite the loss of major financial and production partners, Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang has been adamant that this summer's Woodstock 50 festival will indeed take place. It's now been revealed that Lang has until week's end to raise the money required to make that a reality.
Sources tell Billboard that Lang has until this Friday (May 10) to secure $30 million USD to produce the festival, set to run from August 16 to 18 at Watkins Glen, NY. That sum is in addition to the $30 million now-gone financial partner Dentsu Aegis Network spent on the event's headlining acts, which include JAY-Z, the Killers, Imagine Dragons and more.
After production partner Superfly announced it would be pulling out of the festival on May 1, a spokesperson for Lang told Billboard that CID Entertainment would produce the event. Having originally been involved in running VIP and hospitality services for the festival alongside Superfly, the company has yet to confirm its further involvement in festival production.
At this point, it's unclear how Lang will raise the $30 million, or how much CID Entertainment will get paid. Billboard adds that the festival had approached promotion giants Live Nation and AEG about investing, though both passed.
As Pitchfork reports, Lang has also hit out against Dentsu in a five-page letter sent to the company yesterday (May 6), alleging that former investors "illegally swept approximately $17 million from the festival bank account."
"We also have evidence that Dentsu representatives have gone so far as to say that should the talent back out of Woodstock, they would be seen favorably by Dentsu and that this could result in their performing the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where Dentsu is a major organizer," Lang wrote. "In these actions too, Dentsu has acted not only without honor, but outside of the law."
Lang's letter insists that Woodstock 50 will take place, claiming that organizers have found "renewed interest in financing."
"It is one thing if your company, Dentsu, wanted to back out of its commitment to Woodstock because it would not make as much money as it had hoped, but to try to suffocate and kill Woodstock so that we could not have a festival for our Golden Anniversary without you is puzzling for any company, let alone one that claims reform," Lang wrote.
Tickets for the festival — which also features Sturgill Simpson, the Lumineers, Greta Van Fleet, Santana and more in its lineup — have yet to go on sale.