Woodstock 50 seeks court order against investor that backed out

Woodstock 50 organizers are seeking a court order against Dentsu Aegis, the investor that dropped out of the festival last week and subsequently attempted to cancel it, with the New York State Supreme Court.

The paperwork was submitted by attorney Marc Kasowitz, who filed a petition for an injunction on Wednesday, according to Rolling Stone.

The petition requests that the court place a gag order on Dentsu Aegis, which would force the company to cease all communication relating to Woodstock 50 and return the amount of US$17.8 million that was taken from both parties’ shared account.

“Dentsu (Aegis) pillaged the festival bank account on its way out, taking all of the $17.8 million in the account earmarked for festival production costs,” read the petition. The company, however, previously claimed these were the funds it initially invested in the festival.

Woodstock 50 poster.

Woodstock 50 poster.

Woodstock / Facebook

The document also alleges that Dentsu Aegis breached its contract with Woodstock 50 after it “claimed the right to unilaterally cancel the festival” a week prior.

READ MORE: Woodstock 50 co-founder says investors trying to ‘suffocate and kill’ music festival

“Woodstock was blindsided by (the) announcement,” Kasowitz said, suggesting that Dentsu Aegis’ statement was an act of “sabotage.”

The faux cancellation was quickly rectified by Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, who said the company “had no legal right” to cancel the festival. Furthermore, he vowed to find new investors and promised the “show will go on.”

“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,” said Lang, 74, in an official statement.

According to Pitchfork, a financial/production agreement between Woodstock 50 and Amplifi Live, a live entertainment subsidiary of Denstu Aegis, stated that “any decision to cancel the festival shall be jointly made in writing by the parties.”

A Dentsu Inc. logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

A Dentsu Inc. logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The agreement also stated that both parties must mutually agree to make any sort of public announcement at all, including “public announcements that may restrict the ability of the parties to obtain refunds from musical or other performing talent.”

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It wasn’t only Dentsu Aegis’ false alarm cancellation that made potential festivalgoers skeptical about Woodstock 50, though.

Even before the legal drama, a small number of acts had dropped out of Woodstock 50, including The Black Keys, who cited “a scheduling conflict.”

With only three months before the festival, tickets have still not yet gone on sale, meaning there may be no audience whatsoever come Aug. 16.

A huge crowd looking towards the large yellow tents during the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969.

A huge crowd looking towards the large yellow tents during the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969.

John Dominis/The Life Picture Collection/Getty Images

It’s currently unclear why the ticket sales were initially delayed, however, many have speculated that it’s because the venue, Watkins Glen, has not been approved for a mass gathering permit by New York’s Department of Health.

Lang has continued to publicly assure fans that Woodstock 50 will take place as scheduled.

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Woodstock 50 is set to take place on the Aug. 16-18 weekend in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

It’s currently unclear when — or if — tickets will actually go on sale.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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