The Woodstock 50 Festival has been given new life after a judge has ruled that the festival can go ahead and that Dentsu had no right to cancel.
The judge’s ruling favour of the festival is a major win for Michael Lang.
Dentsu was financing the 50th anniversary Woodstock Festival in upstate New York but last month not only pulled out but also withdrew its funding and announced that the Festival had been cancelled.
Organiser Michael Lang told Noise11 that the Festival was not cancelled and over the past month has been holding the event together. The Judge upheld that Dentsu did not have the right to cancel but also ruled that the company does not have to return the $17.8 million it withdrew from the Festival bank account.
The Woodstock 50 Festival, scheduled for Watkins Glen, in upstate New York for 16-18 August will feature Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Miley Cyrus and Santana as well as John Fogerty who is planning to recreate his original Woodstock 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival setlist.
None of the artists announced have cancelled. Co-organiser Amanda Pelman tells Noise11.com, “All the 80 artists have been paid 100% up front so there is no change in the lineup. Add to which there will be a few special surprises”.
She adds, “the trials and tribulations of the past few weeks have only made the resolve for Woodstock 50’s event and purpose even stronger – the festival is as much about social activism and engagement as it is about great music”.
Tickets will go on sale soon. “We will be announcing a new production partner in the coming days and ticket information will follow shortly after that – there is over 3 months left to go”.
The financial hole left by Dentsu’s withdrawal has alreaady been filled. Amanda says, “The number of potential investors who have made their interests known since the departure of Dentsu Aegis on April 29 is staggering. The strength of the Woodstock brand is recognized as an American icon worthy of developing into another generational audience who are committed to a better environment – politically and socially – just like they were in 1969”.
Official Woodstock 50 media release
NEW YORK—May 15, 2019–Woodstock 50 issued the following statements today after Judge Barry Ostrager of the Supreme Court of New York ruled that financial partner, Dentsu Aegis, had no right to cancel the festival, as it attempted to do on April 29. Woodstock 50 filed a request with the court for a temporary restraining order May 9 to stop Dentsu from sabotaging the festival.
From Marc Kasowitz, partner, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP:
“We are gratified that Justice Ostrager has ruled unequivocally that Dentsu did not have the right to cancel the Festival, and is immediately enjoined from cancelling the Festival. Today’s order is an important victory that means the show will go on for the fans, the talent, and the world, which was and remains Woodstock 50’s mission.”
From Gregory Peck, principal, Woodstock 50:
“Woodstock 50 is on! Now that the court has confirmed that the Festival was never validly cancelled and is going forward, Woodstock 50 can focus on finalizing the necessary funding arrangements. We can’t wait to bring this important event to the public this summer. We have one of the greatest lineups of talent of any music festival, and we are grateful to all of the talent for their loyalty and support.”
From Michael Lang, producer, Woodstock 50:
“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. Woodstock 50 will be an amazing and inspiring festival experience.”