Woodstock Co-Founder: “Woodstock 50 Will Take Place and Will Be a Blast!”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Dentsu Aegis Network, the company funding this summer’s Woodstock 50 festival, may have withdrawn their investment in the event — but according to Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, that doesn’t mean the fest is cancelled, despite Dentsu Aegis’ claim otherwise.

It only took a couple of hours after Dentsu Aegis’ announcement that they were pulling funding and calling off the whole shebang for the fest’s organizers to release a statement insisting Woodstock 50 would proceed as planned. Lang has now reasserted that position in a new e-mail to the Woodstock mailing list:

“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’s 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, Dentsu-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 Woodstock 50 will take place and will be a blast!

“Thanks for Listening, Michael”

As to why Dentsu jumped ship in the first place, we have only gossip to go by: TMZ says that Amplifi Live — the investment arm of Dentsu Aegis Network — needed a minimum of 100,000 attendees to make a profit, but “capacity for the concert venue shrunk by 50% — from 150,000 to 75,000… [after] Watkins Glen city officials said a big chunk of the land needed to be used as campgrounds to accommodate concertgoers.” They also claim that the fest’s production company, Superfly, will no longer be involved, which would presumably cause more trouble for Lang and his fellow organizers.

Acts scheduled to appear at Woodstock 50 include Greta Van Fleet, Pussy Riot, Jay-Z, and The Killers. Presumably, we’ll know in the coming weeks whether or not the festival will go forward or not.

[via Metal Injection]

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