Woodstock 50 Has Hired Donald Trump’s Lawyer
Woodstock 50 has morphed from an anniversary celebration of peace, love and music to a Fyre Festival-level shitshow in just a couple of weeks.
Trouble began brewing when headliners The Black Keys pulled out, followed by a botched ticket on-sale date that was pushed back indefinitely. Shortly thereafter, Dentsu Aegis, the festival’s financial backers, withdrew their support and announced the festival was canceled. “Not so fast!” said Michael Lang, Woodstock’s creator, vowing the festival would continue and later doubling down on that statement by reminding music fans a similar thing happened with the festival’s original 1969 incarnation and pledging to find a way to make it work. TMZ reported a rumor 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.
That brings us up to the present day. And in the present day Michael Lang has hired Donald Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz.
Putting aside the economic and logistical issues for a minute, how fucking tone deaf does Lang have to be to hire DONALD TRUMP’S LAWYER?? How are “the principles of activism and sustainability” in any way aligned with anyone associated with Trump? That’s insanity. Kasowitz was retained as Trump’s personal attorney from May through July of 2017 to represent him in connection with investigations into the role of Trump’s presidential campaign in Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Kasowitz also represents several Russian clients with close ties to Vladimir Putin. It’s an absolutely terrible look for Woodstock and Lang by association, and will surely leave a sour taste in the mouth of anyone thinking about attending the festival (if it happens).
Even if we overlook that, how exactly does Lang think Kasowitz will swoop in to save the day? It seems the festival has a major issue on its hands that needs to be overcome to even put on the event, and I’m not sure how a lawyer would help overcome those hurdles… unless the hiring was made not with putting on a successful festival in mind, but with the goal of litigation against the festival’s former partners.
In any case, Kasowitz said this: “Dentsu has no legal right or ability to cancel it. All stakeholders, including the entertainers, should proceed with the understanding that the event will take place as planned and if they have any questions, they should reach out directly.” So either they’re really trying to push this thing forward, or they’re just giving the appearances of doing so with eventual litigation in mind so they can cast blame elsewhere once the festival doesn’t happen.
Like I said at the top of this piece, we’re approaching Fyre Festival levels of ridiculousness and corruption. Woodstock 50 is totally fucked. This would be where I’d normally mention the acts scheduled to perform, but does it even matter at this point?