Michael Lang, the co-founder of Woodstock and producer of Woodstock 50, claims that Dentsu, the Japanese firm that just backed out of backing the August event, owes the festival $17-million.
In a five-page letter, Lang writes, “Initially I had some concerns about linking an organization like Dentsu to Woodstock. 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...”
Lang says the contract he signed, for “optics” reasons, made Amplifi Live, an investment arm of Dentsu, the show's co-producer and financier.
According to the letter, Lang claims Dentsu was not able to find sponsors for the festival, but "my side had been working to obtain completion financing...[and] were confident we would be successful. We communicated this to your people..."
Three days later, he says, Dentsu backed out and -- this is Lang's assertion -- "illegally swept approximately $17 million from the festival bank account, leaving the festival in peril... These actions are neither a legal nor honorable way to do business."
Billboard says Lang needs to come up with $30-million by Friday to salvage Woodstock 50, which he hopes to hold August 16th - 18th in Watkins Glen, New York.