Woodstock 50 organisers file appeal to claw back $18 million funding

Will it still go ahead?

The organisers of Woodstock’s troubled 50th anniversary are attempting to re-secure $18 million from a former financial backer after the funding was withdrawn from the event.

The event, which is due to take place in Watkins Glen, upstate New York in August, will commemorate the milestone anniversary of the iconic 1969 festival.

However, it has been beleaguered by issues, with The Black Keys dropping out, ticket sales being postponed, and the previous investors taking back their money.


Promoter Michael Lang secured a victory for its future last week when it was ruled that the chief financial backer, Dentsu Aegis Network, didn’t have the authority to cancel the festival.

The ruling came after Dentsu withdrew their substantial financial support for the festival, which is set to feature performances from Miley Cyrus and The Killers.

Woodstock, 1969
Woodstock, 1969

But Lang is now seeking to secure the sum after last week’s ruling said that Dentsu were not obliged to return their funding.

In an appeal lodged with New York’s Supreme Court, Woodstock 50 attorney Marc Kasowitz claimed that the court “erred in denying” Woodstock’s request to force Dentsu “to restore the $18 million to the Festival’s dedicated account, and to permit the use of those funds to produce the Festival.”

According to Billboard, Kasowitz also claimed that Dentsu “has admitted it has no intention of producing the festival, nor restoring funds that were wrongfully diverted” by the Japanese firm.


In the meantime, Woodstock has secured funding from financial services company Oppenheimer & Co. who will act “as an advisor to complete the financing for the festival,” according to an official statement.

Jay-Z, Dead & Company, and The Killers are scheduled to headline the anniversary event between August 16-18. Miley Cyrus, Chance The Rapper, Halsey, Cage The Elephant, The Raconteurs, Robert Plant, and more are also due to appear.


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