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Woodstock 50 Organizers Have Accused Former Investors Of ‘Sabotage’ In A Lawsuit

After months of drama, last summer’s planned Woodstock 50 anniversary festival was ultimately canceled. The story involved investors dropping out, new ones coming in, venues being changed, and artists having no idea what the heck was going on. Now, the event’s organizers are blaming original investor Dentsu Group in a new lawsuit, in which they are suing the company for “sabotage” and “destruction of the festival,” Rolling Stone reports.

The complaint was filed on Wednesday in New York Supreme Court, and it alleges that “Dentsu Group and its affiliates Dentsu Aegis Network and MKTG are directly responsible for the destruction of the Woodstock 50 Anniversary Festival.” The suit also claims that Dentsu affiliate Amplifi Live, LLC, which “governed the terms of the production of the festival,” “breached that agreement.”

The suit continues, “Despite Woodstock 50’s best efforts, Dentsu’s sabotage was effective and complete, and directly resulted in huge damages to Woodstock 50. As a result of Dentsu’s egregious conduct, Woodstock 50 is entitled to tens of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.”

Amplifi Live offered a response to the suit, with a representative saying, “Dentsu’s affiliate, Amplifi Live, acted in the best interest of the public last year after Woodstock 50 breached its agreement. After a full evidentiary hearing, the court credited Amplifi Live’s evidence that a safe and profitable festival could not be mounted, and therefore refused to order Amplfi Live to continue funding the project. […] Amplfi Live is vigorously defending these claims in arbitration and pursuing breach and fraud claims against Woodstock 50. Amplifi Live and its parent and affiliates will vigorously defend Woodstock 50’s eleventh-hour effort to escape the arbitration forum. Woodstock 50 does not represent the Woodstock brand, having lost that license, and the claims in this new filing have no merit and are improper.”

Last summer, Michael Lang explained why he thought things didn’t work with Dentsu, saying, “We just frankly picked the wrong partner in Dentsu. They didn’t really understand the business. When the agreement went at the last minute of just being a backer to a co-producer, they had input into everything that we did. It just pretty much went off the rails from the beginning. They weren’t cognizant of the timeframe for how these things have to get done and how much work has to get done. So they waited for months before signing [production company] Superfly [who was hired to help produce the festival], which was tasked with getting the permits. Then when they pulled the plug, everything sort of stopped.”