Woodstock 50 Is Back on After a Court Rejects an Ex-Investor’s Attempt to Cancel It


(NEW YORK) — The Woodstock 50 pageant is again on after a courtroom rebuffed an ex-investor’s effort to cancel the anniversary extravaganza — however organizers should do with out some $18 million, at the least for now.

Manhattan choose Barry Ostrager dominated Wednesday that the pageant’s former chief backer, Amplifi Dwell, couldn’t singlehandedly name off the August present but in addition doesn’t should put the $18 million again into it. The cash dispute and different points are poised for arbitration.

Organizers celebrated the ruling, which got here after dueling claims about whether or not the pageant was on or off.

“We have always relied on the truth and have never lost faith that the festival would take place,” mentioned Michael Lang, certainly one of Woodstock 50’s organizers and a promoter of the unique 1969 Woodstock live performance.

Amplifi, in the meantime, mentioned it felt vindicated by the choose’s ruling on the $18 million.

“The court did not rule that Amplifi Live’s assumption of control over the festival was improper,” the corporate famous in a press release, including that it doesn’t plan to speculate additional in Woodstock 50 due to points together with “the compressed timeframe and multiple health and safety concerns.”

The occasion is deliberate for Aug. 16-18 in Watkins Glen, New York, and is billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime” tribute to the 1969 live performance that turned a defining second in pop music and a cultural touchstone.

Saying organizers had made a large number of planning, Amplifi cited security issues and introduced April 29 that it was canceling the three-day live performance.

The organizers’ group, Woodstock 50 LLC, retorted that Amplifi was undermining the present — which was nonetheless a go — and had snatched $18 million from the pageant’s checking account. Amplifi, an arm of Japan-based advertising and marketing agency Dentsu, mentioned it simply reclaimed what was left of the $49 million it put in.

After a hearing this week, the choose mentioned Wednesday that Amplifi introduced “convincing testimony” that it was attempting to stem its losses from a pageant that was going through important hurdles with simply three months to go.

Whereas over 80 acts have been booked, manufacturing firm Superfly dropped out this month after tangling with organizers over how many individuals the Watkins Glen Worldwide racetrack might accommodate. Organizers envisioned 150,000, however Superfly mentioned 65,000 was the “safe and appropriate capacity.”

Ticket gross sales have been delayed, permits are nonetheless within the works and main venue enhancements — together with roads and a short lived water system — have to be made, in accordance with courtroom paperwork and testimony.

“You’re basically creating a city for three to five days,” Peter Workplace, a music pageant planner who works with Amplifi Dwell, testified on the listening to.

The choose mentioned arbitration would possibly finally decide that Amplifi was inside its rights to take management of the pageant, however dominated the investor “does not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival” below its contract with Woodstock 50 LLC.

The organizers have mentioned they’re working to line up a brand new manufacturing firm and supply of financing.

With Jay-Z, Lifeless & Firm and the Killers as headliners, the lineup consists of some unique Woodstock veterans, equivalent to Santana and John Fogerty. However the present will even characteristic artists from newer generations, just like the Raconteurs, Likelihood the Rapper and Miley Cyrus.

A separate anniversary present is deliberate on the identical dates on the web site of the unique Woodstock live performance, now run by The Bethel Woods Middle for the Arts in Bethel, New York. Performers anticipated there embody Ringo Starr and Santana.

Contact us at editors@time.com.


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