Woodstock Co-Founder Claims Investor ‘Illegally Swept’ $17 Million From Festival

Woodstock 50 co-founder Michael Lang has alleged that former investor Dentsu “illegally swept approximately $17 million from the festival bank account, leaving [the festival] in peril.”

Lang has sent a five-page note detailing the relationship with Amplifi Live, the investment arm of Dentsu Aegis.

“Initially I had some concerns about linking an organization like Dentsu to Woodstock,” Lang writes. “Corporations are not always the right match for certain creative endeavors, but I learned that Dentsu has pursued various social initiatives after certain tragedies and scandals that Dentsu faced which gave me confidence that your company would be an ethical and honorable firm to partner with.”

He adds, “Your officer here, DJ Martin, Chief Commercial Officer, reassured me that Dentsu would not interfere, and equally important, could embody the special meaning of Woodstock. It would only be in a supportive financial role to ensure our mutual success.”

Lang also said Dentsu “illegally swept approximately $17 million from the festival bank account,” and claimed that the company was responsible for blocking ticket sales.

“We also have evidence that Dentsu representatives have gone so far as to say that should the talent back out of Woodstock, they would be seen favorably by Dentsu and that this could result in their performing the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where Dentsu is a major organizer,” Lang wrote. “In these actions too, Dentsu has acted not only without honor, but outside of the law.”

Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, the company that was providing financial backing for Woodstock 50, recently announced that it was “canceling the festival” because it doesn’t “believe the production…can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees.”

However, Woodstock 50 festival organizers released a statement confirming their decision to move forward with the music festival.

“This confirms that Woodstock 50 is proceeding with the planning and production of the festival,” declared a statement from Marc Kasowitz, attorney for the festival. “Dentsu has no legal right or ability to cancel it.”

Woodstock 50 is scheduled to take place from August 16-18 in Watkins Glen, New York. The lineup includes headliners such as Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Miley Cyrus and Santana, among others.

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