sunny.png
Saturday May 25th, 2019 1:37PM

Clash over Woodstock 50 fest's prospects plays out in court

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Woodstock 50 festival organizers and their onetime financial partner traded accusations of broken promises as they argued Monday over whether the anniversary show can go on.

With under 100 days to go, the two sides clashed in a New York courtroom over money, control, changes in plans and whether it's still feasible to hold the event, scheduled for Aug. 16-18 at Watkins Glen International racetrack. The hearing is set to continue Tuesday.

Organizers insist they're going forward with a sprawling, big-name homage to one of the most significant moments in pop music history and 1960s counterculture.

"We are producing what will be an iconic and historic event" that honors the 1969 concert's themes of "peace and music," said Gregory Peck, a managing member of organizers Woodstock 50 LLC. "I feel, personally, we need Woodstock now as much as we did 50 years ago."

But the festival's former main investor says it took charge of the show — and announced its cancellation April 29 — because preparations were lagging and the company was concerned for concertgoers' and performers' health and safety.

"This festival is not going to happen," said attorney Marc Greenwald, a lawyer for backer Amplifi Live LLC. It's an arm of Dentsu, an international marketing company based in Japan.

Woodstock 50 sued last week, saying Amplifi Live couldn't singlehandedly call off the show. The organizers accused their former partner of sabotaging the event by scaring off the public, privately telling artists to stay away and draining $18 million from the festival bank account.

Amplifi Live shot back in court papers Sunday that the organizers' "incompetence" and "misrepresentations" spurred the company to take control, nix the festival and take back what remained of the $49 million it put in.

The festival has yet to get a state permit, though officials have prepared one conditionally, court papers show. Production company Superfly dropped out after raising concerns about funding, attendance capacity and infrastructure at the festival's central New York venue, according to court papers.

Woodstock 50 initially foresaw a 150,000-person event. But Superfly pegged the "safe and appropriate capacity" for the site at 65,000, according to court documents.

Woodstock 50 wants the $18 million back; Peck said it's needed "in a matter of days" to pay for a new production company and other expenses. Organizers also want their ex-investor barred from talking about the festival with the media, performers or others — a request that Manhattan judge Barry Ostrager temporarily granted last week but lifted on Monday, at least for now.

Amplifi Live says at least another $20 million would be needed to pull off the concert. Woodstock 50 says it needs to raise $6 million to $9 million in the next four to six weeks alone. Peck said organizers have been approached by other investors, but he wouldn't name them.

The over 80 artists — who range from Jay-Z to John Fogerty to Miley Cyrus — have already been paid $32 million, according to the organizers. Ticket sales were supposed to start April 22 but were delayed.

The original Woodstock concert was held about 115 miles (185 kilometers) southeast of Watkins Glen on a farm in Bethel, New York.

It's now run by The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which has its own anniversary concert planned Aug. 16-18, with performers including Ringo Starr, Santana and Fogerty.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, AP Business
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Clash over Woodstock 50 fest's prospects plays out in court
Woodstock 50 festival organizers and their onetime financial partner are trading accusations of broken promises as they argue over whether the anniversary show can go on.
6:40PM ( 11 minutes ago )
China retaliates on tariffs, stock markets go into a slide
China boosts tariffs on $60 billion of US goods, hitting back against Trump's tariff hike
6:35PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Trump meets Hungary's far-right prime minister
Trump meets with Hungary's far right-leaning prime minister, Viktor Orban, in spite of a weak record on advancing democracy
6:34PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: 4 detained in hip-hop shooting released
Police say four men detained after a shooting tied to a Miami-area hip-hop festival have been released
6:07PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Police investigating rappers' ties to shootings around Miami
A weekend of shootings involving rap musicians and their entourages in South Florida for a huge hip-hop festival left two people dead and four wounded
5:43PM ( 1 hour ago )
Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scheme
"Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman has pleaded guilty to participating in the college admissions cheating scheme
5:20PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
Legendary actress and singer Doris Day dead at 97
Doris Day, whose wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in '60s films, has died
11:40AM ( 7 hours ago )
NBC bets on comedy next year, 'This Is Us" for years to come
NBC will add sitcoms from Kenan Thompson, Fran Drescher this fall and commits to 'This Is Us' for three more years
3:11AM ( 15 hours ago )
Rapper Kodak Black arrested; Lil Wayne bows out of show
Officials say Florida rapper Kodak Black was arrested on federal and state weapons charges just before he was to perform at a hip-hop festival
2:57PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Recordings News
California sues US over home health worker union dues
Five states have joined forces to try and block a new rule from the Trump administration they say weakens labor unions and their ability to collectively bargain for wages and benefits.
5:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Escalating US-China trade war sends stocks plunging
Stocks plummeted Monday as the U.S. and China rattle markets with an escalating trade war
5:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
Longtime NFL coach Gunther Cunningham dies at 72
Longtime NFL coach Gunther Cunningham, who emigrated from postwar Germany as a child and then dedicated his life to football, has died after a brief illness
5:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
China retaliates on tariffs, stock markets go into a slide
China boosts tariffs on $60 billion of US goods, hitting back against Trump's tariff hike
6:35PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Trump meets Hungary's far-right prime minister
Trump meets with Hungary's far right-leaning prime minister, Viktor Orban, in spite of a weak record on advancing democracy
6:34PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Official: Initial US assessment blames Iran for ship attacks
US official: Initial assessment suggests Iran involved in Middle East ship explosions
6:33PM ( 19 minutes ago )
APNewsBreak: Defense say Navy SEAL prosecutors spied on them
Defense lawyers in the case of a Navy SEAL charged with killing an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq say prosecutors installed spying software in emails sent to them and to a reporter
6:30PM ( 21 minutes ago )
2020 hopeful Biden says he's open to breaking up Facebook
Joe Biden says he is open to breaking up technology giants like Facebook and is praising Sen. Elizabeth Warren, his 2020 rival who is championing such a policy
6:29PM ( 22 minutes ago )