Last week, Woodstock 50 attorney Marc Kasowitz asked a judge to force the return of $18 million officials for Dentsu and its investment arm Amplifi Live withdrew from a bank account it shared with Woodstock 50. Taken shortly after Dentsu announced it was canceling the festival on April 29, attorneys for Lang said the withdrawal sunk the festival's prospects and made it impossible to stage the anniversary concert.
Kasowitz released this statement to Billboard after the filing was made public: “While Dentsu has used its filing to sling mud, nothing in its court papers changes the fact that Dentsu has no right under its agreement with Woodstock 50 to either cancel the Festival or abscond with nearly $18 million of the Festival’s money. We look forward to addressing that in court this afternoon.”
Greenwald wrote in his filing that Lang repeatedly lied to Dentsu chief commercial officer DJ Martin, saying the 74-year-old misrepresented that the festival site at Watkins Glen International speedway could accommodate 150,000 fans. Lang is also accused of lying about how far along he was with the application process for a mass gathering permit with New York's Department of Health -- so far no permit has been secured.
After depositing $49 million in a shared account -- Woodstock 50 was given read-only access and could not make payment allocations -- Martin claimed he was repeatedly told the site could accommodate 150,000 fans, only to learn from producer Rick Farman with Superfly that the event's maximum capacity could be no more than 75,000.
"W50 repeatedly ignored the safety assessment of the festival’s producer—a producer that W50 itself picked, and repeatedly insisted that the festival capacity was much higher," Greewald wrote.
Superfly issued Woodstock a breach notice first on March 29 and then again on April 10, according to Greenwald, who says Lang pushed ahead with booking a $25 million talent slate despite the capacity being potentially cut in half.
"Not only did W50 book talent, but it promised to make payments to the artists, contrary to Amplifi Live’s explicit instructions," Greenwald wrote. "Amplifi Live had no option but to make these payments after a damaging rumor leaked to the public that the Festival was experiencing financial difficulties, threatening the Festival’s success."
Greenwald also said Lang ignored requests by Dentsu that participating artists agree to refund the money if the artists cancel and accuse Lang of misappropriating thousands in unneeded expenditures.
This story has been updated to include comments from Marc Kasowitz.