The anniversary festival was rocked this week by the news that its primary financial backer had pulled out
Woodstock 50 co-organiser Michael Lang has reiterated his desire to keep the anniversary festival alive, with the festival now hiring Marc E. Kasowitz, one of Donald Trump‘s lawyers, in an effort to calm the storm surrounding its immediate future.
The festival, which intended to celebrate 50 years since Woodstock’s iconic 1969 festival, was plunged into turmoil on Monday (April 29) after its primary funding partner Dentsu Aegis Network withdrew its financial commitment and announced the “cancellation’ of Woodstock 50.
Lang, who co-founded the original Woodstock festival 50 years ago, was among those working on August’s planned festival to “vehemently” deny that it had been cancelled, however.
It’s now emerged that Lang has hired Kasowitz to represent Woodstock 50’s interests going forward. As reported by The New York Times, Kasowitz issued an industry-wide statement on Tuesday (April 30) which declared that Dentsu did not have the right to cancel the festival, and instructed “all stakeholders, including the entertainers” to proceed as planned.
Speaking to the paper, Lang said that Woodstock 50 is currently “in talks with investors who are anxious to come in” and save the festival.
“We have a short window to put this back together. That’s obvious,” he added. “We feel it’s enough time, and there is enough interest, that we think we will accomplish it.”
Asked about how he could win back the confidence of the ticket-buying public, Lang said that “the best way” to achieve that was “by your actions, not by your words.”
“So again, it’s getting on sale,” he said. “I put out a letter last night to all the people who have emailed us, just to explain what is going on. The response has been great. People are being really supportive. Everybody is giving us the best of wishes, and ‘go get ’em’ kind of stuff. And we will deliver.”
In a separate statement issued by Lang this week, he cited the memory of the chaotic staging of the original 1969 festival as inspiration for how Woodstock 50 could get back on track.
“It seems in a way that history is repeating itself,” he wrote. “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!”