Woodstock 50 founder in a jam to secure funding, alleges investors ‘illegally swept’ millions from festival
The build up to Woodstock’s 50th-anniversary, commemorative festival has been a tumultuous one to say the least. But original Woodstock co-founder, Michael Lang, maintains the festival will go on as planned, sans funding from core initial investors at Dentsu Aegis Network (Amplifi Live).
It’s safe to say the two entities did not part amicably. Lang apparently went as far as to pen a five-page letter accusing Dentsu of “illegally sweeping” approximately $17 million from the festival bank accounts, according to reports from Pitchfork. The letter goes on to allege that Dentsu has employed various means of sabotaging Woodstock 50’s chances of survival following the media group’s departure, including indirectly obstructing ticket sales and urging both vendors and performers to sever ties with the festival.
“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 purportedly wrote.
Lang is now fervently searching to secure new funding, $30 million by Friday, to be precise, for the New York-held, August 16-18 affair to stay afloat, according to Billboard‘s reports from conversations with a spokesperson on Lang’s behalf. However, from whom Woodstock 50 will obtain its do-or-die backing is quite unclear.
Last week, it seemed help would come on the backs of New York-based event outfit, Superfly, after an announcement from Lang; though the event brand promptly issued a statement offically revoking any further involvement. While the situation seemed it couldn’t possibly grow more dizzying, the aforementioned Lang spokesperson also reported to Billboard that Dan Berkowitz and CID Entertainment, another festival/event production outlet, would step in to replace Superfly.
No one on behalf of CID has confirmed or denied their backing of Woodstock 50 as of yet. Though it doesn’t seem the festival in question has much of a sliver of opportunity should they dispel rumors of their involvement. The only truth to discern as of now from the road to Woodstock 50 is that the festival is already paved with precariousness, which is an unfortunate outcome for what once held the potential to be one of the best festivals of 2019.