05/02/19 Will Mitchell
Woodstock 50 organisers dispute main investor's claim that festival has been called off
The festival planned to commemorate 5o years since Woodstock was held has been called off, according to its main investor. The event was scheduled to take place during 16-18 August at Watkins Glen in New York and was set to mark half a century since the 1969 landmark festival. However, rumors of cancellation started early when the booked artists didn't receive payment, on top of ticket sales being postponed.
Investor Dentsu backs out
Japanese advertising and PR company, Dentsu Aegis Network, were originally the main source of funding for the festival. In a statement shared to Billboard they said:
"Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don't believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees,"
Dentsu stated that they were backing out and pulling the plug on the whole operation. However, confusion arouse when Michael Lang- one of the cofounders of the original Woodstock and organiser for Woodstock 50- refuted this. He shared the following statement to Pitchfork:
"We are committed to ensuring that the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock is marked with a festival deserving of its iconic name and place in American history and culture. Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will of course be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners. We would like to acknowledge the State of New York and Schuyler County for all of their hard work and support. The bottom line is, there is going to be a Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival, as there must be, and it’s going to be a blast."
Production company Superfly abandoned ship
In addition to this, a few days later production partner Superfly declared that they had also backed out. A spokesperson for the company confirmed to Rolling Stone: "Following the decision of one of our clients, Dentsu, to cancel the event, we will no longer be participating in ongoing related activities.”
It remains to be seen as to whether or not the festival will actually go ahead. The latest on the story comes from a statement issued to Rolling Stone by the legal counsel for Woodstock 50, Marc Kasowitz. He affirmed that despite recent events, they would not be throwing in the towel.
“This confirms that Woodstock 50 is proceeding with the planning and production of the festival, Dentsu has no legal right or ability to cancel it. All stakeholders, including the entertainers, should proceed with the understanding that the event will take place as planned and if they have any questions, they should reach out directly.”
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