The Woodstock 50 fiasco seems like a distant memory, but it’s far from over. The on again, off again music festival didn’t happen as planned in 2019 and now organizers are suing its lead investor.
A lawsuit has been filed with the New York Supreme Court by Woodstock 50 claiming “sabotage” and seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages. According to the claim, Dentsu inflicted harm on the event despite contractual obligation to help see it through financially.
As we recall, Woodstock 50 failed to acquire necessary permits, major acts (including Jay-Z, Dead & Company and Miley Cyrus) dropped like flies, and a number of other problems led to the festival’s ultimate demise. However, Woodstock veteran Michael Lang has always argued it was Dentsu that solely pulled the plug — more on that here.
The lawsuit reads, “Dentsu and Amplifi made the cold-blooded decision to exit their investment having nothing to do with any alleged breaches by Woodstock 50, but rather to avoid the potential that the Festival would not make money or not be as successful as they hoped.”
TL;DR: The new suit claims “interference with contract, trade libel, and conspiracy” and that Woodstock 50 was unable to carry on after Dentsu “badmouthed the festival after inducing Ampflifi’s breach,” thus losing millions in revenue.
This isn’t the first time legal action has been taken in the case either… “[…] stop interfering with our efforts to put on this wonderful event, and return the $17 million you improperly took,” Lang previously wrote in a letter to Dentsu.
Dentsu fired back, “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.”
See a full Woodstock 50 timeline here.