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Woodstock 50 Organizer Says Financial Backers “Don’t Have A Right” To Cancel Festival

The organizers of Woodstock 50 say it’s not canceled after all.

Earlier this week, it was announced that this year’s 50th anniversary Woodstock festival would be canceled, with financiers Dentsu publicly announcing that the festival as it was would not live up to the Woodstock name. Now, festival co-founder Michael Lang has said that Dentsu has no right to cancel the festival, and that the fest will go on as planned.

In a lengthy statement printed in Rolling Stone, Lang said the following:

Dear Woodstock Friends

It seems in a way that history is repeating itself. In July of 1969 we lost our site in Walkill and with only a month to go we managed to move to Bethel. Woodstock was going to happen no matter what!

This time around, Woodstock new hometown, Dix & Watkins Glen, NY and New York State have been really wonderful. I went door to door to talk to the neighbors. Some remembered Summer Jam back in ‘73 and were worried about history repeating itself. But they opened their doors to us and we talked it out. Many of those people have reached out over the last 24 hours with messages of hope and encouragement.

The venue, Watkins Glen International, have been totally supportive and professional.

Yesterday, our financial partner, Dentus-Aegis, made the decision to pull out and informed us that they were cancelling the festival at the same time they let the press release go public.

We have yet to understand why they would try to prevent the festival from happening by seemingly undermining us in this way. It is one thing to decide for oneself that it is best to move on, but it is entirely another thing to try and close the door on us.

Yesterday, I couldn’t help but relive that moment 50 years ago — it was ‘déjà vu all over again’!

Supporting the principles of activism and sustainability are too important to be derailed by shortsighted partners.

We continue our work with NYS, Schuyler County and various parties to keep things on track.

Woodstock never belonged to Dentsu, so they don’t have a right to cancel it.

Woodstock belongs to the people and it always will.

We don’t give up and Woodstockwill take place and will be a blast!

Thanks for Listening, Michael.”

On top of this, an attorney for the festival, Marc Kasowitz, has announced that the festival will go on as planned, saying, “This confirms that Woodstock 50 is proceeding with the planning and production of the festival…Dentsu has no legal right or ability to cancel it.

All stakeholders, including the entertainers, should proceed with the understanding that the event will take place as planned and if they have any questions, they should reach out directly,” continued Kasowitz.

Dentsu declined to comment.

Should Woodstock 50 continue as planned, it would include acts like The Killers, The Raconteurs, Cage The Elephant, Dead & Company, and more in its line-up.

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Posted on May 1st 2019, 3:07pm
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