Woodstock 50 Group Sues Financial Partner Dentsu Group
The Organizers Are Accusing The Company of “Sabotage”
Woodstock 50 organizers are filing a lawsuit against their former financial partner Dentsu Group and its affiliates Dentsu Aegis Network, MKTG, and non-party Amplifi Live, LLC. They’re accusing them of being “directly responsible for the destruction of the Woodstock 50 Anniversary Festival” in a new complaint filed on Wednesday in New York Supreme Court. According to the suit, the plaintiffs are seeking millions of dollars for compensatory and punitive damages.
Woodstock 50 was supposed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historical event in 1969. It was scheduled to take place on August 16-18, 2019 in Watkins Glen International in New York but didn’t push through because of legal problems and other setbacks such as booked artists dropping off. Dentsu Group cut ties with the festival organizers and after they pulled out, they initially canceled Woodstock 50 even though the organizers pointed out that they didn’t have any legal right to do so.
A spokesperson for Dentsu denied the allegations. And a representative for Amplifi Live told Rolling Stone, “Dentsu’s affiliate, Amplifi Live, acted in the best interest of the public last year after Woodstock 50 breached its agreement. After a full evidentiary hearing, the court credited Amplifi Live’s evidence that a safe and profitable festival could not be mounted, and therefore refused to order Amplfi Live to continue funding the project.”
They added, “That decision was affirmed on appeal. The parties are about to engage in an arbitration hearing, but Woodstock 50 prefers baseless claims in press releases rather than to have the parties’ dispute decided by arbitrators. Amplfi Live is vigorously defending these claims in arbitration and pursuing breach and fraud claims against Woodstock 50. Amplifi Live and its parent and affiliates will vigorously defend Woodstock 50’s eleventh-hour effort to escape the arbitration forum. Woodstock 50 does not represent the Woodstock brand, having lost that license, and the claims in this new filing have no merit and are improper.”
In the papers obtained by Rolling Stone, the suit claims: “Dentsu’s wrongful actions to defame Woodstock 50 were undertaken for the purpose of preventing other parties from attending, financing or participating in the Festival, and were intended to and did ensure that the Festival failed and Woodstock 50 could make no profit from the Festival. Absent Dentsu’s wrongful actions, Woodstock 50 would have been able to successfully produce the Festival, and further monetize the Festival through media and sponsorship deals and future licensing deals relating to the Festival.”
The suit also adds, “Despite Woodstock 50’s best efforts, Dentsu’s sabotage was effective and complete, and directly resulted in huge damages to Woodstock 50. As a result of Dentsu’s egregious conduct, Woodstock 50 is entitled to tens of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.”