Woodstock‘s 50th Anniversary was brought to a sudden screeching halt last year, due to logistical issues, line-up faux pas, licencing yanks, investor pull-outs, legal battles, and every possible nightmarish situation a festival could ever face. But the grinding gears came to a full stop when Dentsu, the main backers behind the event, pulled their $18 million investment and essentially took it upon themselves to publically cancel the event.
As one of Tokyo, Japan’s largest advertising agencies, and the fifth largest in the world, Dentsu cited Woodstock Ventures LLC’s “misrepresentations, incompetence, and contractual breaches” as reasons for the move. Now Dentsu is being sued by Woodstock, who is seeking tens of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.
According to the festival’s organizers, the advertising agency ruined their chance to host a landmark installment of one of the world’s most iconic and historical music festivals by neglecting a legal contract which was supposed to help fund the 50th celebration. The lawsuit was filed in the New York Supreme Court, stating,
“Dentsu and Amplifi made the cold-blooded decision to exit their investment having nothing to do with any alleged breaches by Woodstock 50, but rather to avoid the potential that the festival would not make money or not be as successful as they hoped.”
The lawsuit goes on to allege that “Dentsu Group and its affiliates Dentsu Aegis Network and MKTG are directly responsible for the destruction of the Woodstock 50 Anniversary Festival.” In addition, the non-party Amplifi Live, LLC, who is an affiliate of Dentsu Group that governed the terms of the production of the festival, breached their agreement.
Photo credit: Associated Press. H/T: Rolling Stone.