50th anniversary of Woodstock to continue


A plaque commemorates the original site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in Bethel, New York. The 50th anniversary of the festival will be celebrated in Watkins Glen, New York, about 150 miles from the original.

By Peter Zemeske

The New York Supreme Court ruled that the former investors tied to Woodstock 50 music festival, a company called Dentsu Aegis and its subsidiary Amplifi Live, did not have the legal right to cancel the festival, in the May 13 decision.

Dentsu Aegis announced in an April 29 statement that the 50th iteration of the Woodstock music festival is cancelled due to the company’s disbelief that the festival can be carried on successfully.

“Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment,” the statement read. “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.”

The New York Supreme Court’s decision is a small victory for the festival’s future. Dentsu didn’t have the right to cancel, but does not have to return the $17.8 million it withdrew from a shared bank account with Woodstock 50 promoters, according to the court decision.

A new investor, investment bank and financial-services firm Oppenheimer & Co., has pledged to “complete the financing for the festival,” according to a May 17 statement.

Woodstock promoter Michael Lang filed an appeal May 22 against the May 13 ruling in favor of Dentsu for the funds it pulled from the shared account.

Woodstock 50’s viability is still in question since tickets haven’t been put on sale yet, despite promises to do so in late January and April 22.