Woodstock 50 settles legal battle with financial backer

The 2019 anniversary festival was cancelled after multiple failed attempts

A legal dispute between the Woodstock 50 festival and its financial backer has been resolved out of court, reports say.

Woodstock 50, an anniversary event celebrating half a century of the iconic New York festival, was cancelled in July 2019 after months of controversy and changing plans.

The festival faced a whole host of problems over the six months leading up to it, mainly related to finding a new location for the event. After it seemingly finally found a home in the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland, organisers then announced that the three-day festival would no longer be taking place.


After a host of artists pulled out of performing at Woodstock 50 from The Black Keys and Jay-Z to Miley CyrusThe RaconteursSantana and The Lumineers, Lang spoke on the recent decision to release the performers from their contracts.

Woodstock, 1969. Credit: Getty
Woodstock, 1969

A new report from Variety has revealed that a court filing from Woodstock 50 against Japanese advertising firm and the festival’s financial backer Dentsu last summer has been settled as of December 15, 2020 with the Supreme Court of New York State.

“The parties have settled this matter on confidential terms,” the document reads, adding that “the Complaint is dismissed with prejudice, and without fees or costs to any party.”

A separate report by Billboard says that Dentsu “has agreed to pay an undisclosed settlement sum covering damages but not unrealised profits”.

According to Variety, the suit sought tens of millions of dollars from Dentsu, alleging that the company “sabotaged” plans for the 50th anniversary festival.


The suit added (via Variety): “Dentsu and Amplifi made the cold-blooded decision to exit their investment having nothing to do with any alleged breaches by Woodstock 50, but rather to avoid the potential that the Festival would not make money or not be as successful as they hoped.

“The Festival was to be one of the iconic musical and cultural events of our era.”

In a statement announcing the cancellation of Woodstock 50 in July, co-founder Michael Lang said: “We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the Festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating.”