Despite having lost its main investor and production partner, and with rumours of artist contracts now being invalid, Woodstock’s founder says the show will go on
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Woodstock 50 can proceed as planned but must locate more funding as judge rules that former investor need not return the $18m demanded by event organisers
By Anna Grace on 16 May 2019
A New York Supreme Court judge has ruled that Woodstock 50 investor Dentsu did not have the right to cancel the festival, but rejects organisers’ demands that Dentsu return $18 million to the festival account.
The ruling, the result of two days of legal proceedings, rejects the cancellation of the Woodstock anniversary event by Dentsu’s investment arm Amplifi Live. The company withdrew its support from the festival, organised by Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, in April.
“Nothing in the [Financing and Production Agreement] indicates that Amplifi’s exercise of the Control Option [cancelling the festival] overrides the contract’s explicit requirement that any cancellation of the festival be mutually agreed upon in writing,” stated the judge.
However, the court also ruled against Lang’s request that Amplifi return $18 million that it took from the festival account upon its withdrawal.
“Now that the court has confirmed that the festival was never validly cancelled, Woodstock 50 can focus on finalising the necessary funding arrangements”
The judge stated that Lang’s team fell “woefully short of making the heightened showing necessary to warrant a mandatory injunction ordering Amplifi to return $17.8 million to the festival bank.”
An Amplifi spokesperson said that the company “feels vindicated” by the court’s decision.
“Now that the court has confirmed that the festival was never validly cancelled and is going forward, Woodstock 50 can focus on finalising the necessary funding arrangements,” says Lang’s business partner, Gregory Peck.
Woodstock 50 is due to take place from 16 to 18 August in Watkins Glen, New York.
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