After a year’s worth of backstage drama and corporate infighting, the two main parties behind the failed Woodstock 50 event have reportedly settled their legal disputes.
A report shared by Billboard on Friday confirms Japanese-owned advertising firm Dentsu, which signed on as a financial partner for the highly publicized festival, did indeed breach its deal with the event organizers as concluded from a confidential arbitration hearing late last year. The company has since agreed to pay an undisclosed settlement to cover any damages, but was not forced to cover any unrealized profits since the event never took place.
Additionally, a separate arbitration panel found Amplifi Live, LLC (an affiliate of Dentsu Group) had also breached its contract with event organizers and was forced to pay undisclosed damages. Woodstock 50 had filed the arbitration claim against Amplifi Live in May 2020 (a month prior to filing the Dentsu civil suit) which said the company was guilty of “Governing the terms of the production of the festival” and that they had “breached that agreement” of the partnership.
Organizers behind the failed Woodstock 50 event announced last summer they were suing Dentsu Group (for the second time) and its affiliates Dentsu Aegis Network and MKTG, claiming Dentsu was “Directly responsible for the destruction of the Woodstock 50 Anniversary Festival.”
The major festival was first proposed to take place over three days at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York on August 16th-18th with performances from Dead & Company, Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Santana, The Raconteurs, Run The Jewels, and many more headline-worthy names. Permitting issues, event production delays, and legal drama plagued the event almost immediately, along with conflicting information coming from Dentsu who first made the announcement that the event was canceled in April, though it was not clear at the time if they actually had the legal authority to do so.
After Watkins Glen officials revoked the site license for Woodstock 50 in July, event organizers secured a new financial backer (Oppenheimer & Co.) to help salvage the festival. Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang had also filed an initial lawsuit against Dentsu over the summer claiming they illegally stole more than $17M from the festival’s bank account in an attempt to sabotage the event. Woodstock 50 was officially canceled in late July.