Former Woodstock 50 investor slams festival organizers ahead of Monday hearing
NEW YORK, N.Y. (WENY) – Ahead of the Monday hearing between Woodstock 50 festival organizers and former investor Dentsu, Dentsu's investment arm, Amplifi Live, and its attorney made some scathing remarks against festival organizer Michael Lang in legal documents released Monday morning.
According to a new report from Variety, in the documents, Amplifi attorney Marc Greenwald writes in part: “Amplifi Live worked nonstop for the last 10 months and invested millions of dollars to put on the Woodstock 50th anniversary festival...but Woodstock 50 LLC's and Michael Lang's misrepresentations, incompetence and contractual breaches have made in impossible to produce a high-quality event that is safe and secure for concertgoers, artists and staff.”
Greenwald continues, saying, “The production company has quit, no permits have been issued, necessary roadwork has not begun, and there is no prospect for sufficient financing. As much as the parties might wish it otherwise, the festival contemplated by their agreement cannot happen and allowing it to go forward would only put the public at risk.”
Recently, Lang accused Dentsu and in turn, Amplifi Live, of stealing $17.8 million from Woodstock 50's bank account; Dentsu has disputed this claim, saying they “simply recovered the funds in the festival bank account” that they originally put in before pulling out as the financial partner.
Greenwald also said in the filing that Lang misrepresented the capacity of the festival site, Watkins Glen International Speedway, as well as the progress to obtain the mass-gathering permit required to put on such a large scale festival.
Court documents claim Lang said the site could accommodate 150,000 people. However, the permit application that was filed last month was for 75,000. No permit has yet been obtained by the New York State Department of Health.
Schuyler County administrator Tim O'Hearn said the original attendance figure was just over 100,000, but was then lowered to 75,000.
A festival representative reportedly said Dentsu was the cause for the permit delays, saying, “The permit was ready to go on April 22 but there was a stipulation put on its issue for a bond to be put in place which Dentsu refused to activate.”
Greenwald shot back in his filing, saying, “W50 repeatedly ignored the safety assessment of the festival's producer – a producer that W50 itself picked, and repeatedly insisted that the festival capacity was much higher. Not only did W50 book talent, but it promised to make payments to the artists, contrary to Amplifi Live's explicit instructions. Amplifi Live had no option but to make these payments after a damaging rumor leaked to the public that the festival was experiencing financial difficulties, threatening the festival's success.”
If the festival is held, it will take place at Watkins Glen International August 16-18 – just three months away.