New York Supreme Court Judge Barry R. Ostrager ruled Wednesday that investment firm Dentsu had no right to cancel Woodstock 50 unilaterally, as they attempted to do in late April, but that the Japanese company is entitled to keep the $17.8 million it took back from the festival’s bank account.
That means Woodstock 50 is free to proceed, as founder Michael Lang has been saying it would, albeit without a significant portion of its initial backing. Woodstock’s attorney Marc Kasowitz — who used to work for Donald Trump — said earlier this week that the festival is broke, but claimed they’re in conversations with several potential investors.
At the crux of the issue is the festival capacity, which was initially slated at 150,000 but has since dropped to 65,000. Some interesting financial numbers came to light in court, including that the festival has spent $32 million to date, $23.5 million of which has been used to pay talent. How the festival will make the economics work with such reduced capacity is one of the major issues they will need to figure out. The festival has also still not obtained a mass gathering permit from the New York State Department of Health, and tickets cannot go on sale until that happens.
Despite all of those obstacles, Woodstock organizer Gregory Peck expressed optimism in a press release, stating:
“Woodstock 50 is on! We can’t wait to bring this important event to the public this summer. We have one of the greatest lineups of talent of any music festival, and we are grateful to all of the talent for their loyalty and support.”
Woodstock 50 is slated to take place on August 16-18 at Watkins Glen International in Schuyler County, NY. Some of the artists scheduled to perform include Robert Plant, Santana, the Killers, Grandson, Fever 333, Dead and Company, Greta Van Fleet, Rival Sons, Imagine Dragons, Cage the Elephant, Pussy Riot, Gary Clark Jr. and Amigo the Devil.
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