Woodstock 50 Organizers Vow to Press On After Backer Pulls Plug

(Bloomberg) -- The organizers of a 50th anniversary Woodstock festival are pressing on after their main financial backer pulled out and claimed to have canceled the concert.

Michael Lang, who helped put on the original 1969 event in Bethel, New York, said he continues to work with New York State, Schuyler County and other parties to keep the festival on track.

He compared the setback to the hurdles that the original three-day event had to overcome.

“It seems in a way that history is repeating itself,” Lang said in a statement. “In July of 1969, we lost our site in Wallkill and with only a month to go we managed to move to Bethel. Woodstock was going to happen no matter what!”

Financial partner Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live said on Monday that it was canceling the festival over fears that a poorly organized event would tarnish the “Woodstock brand.” The three-day gathering, slated to feature performances from the Killers, Jay-Z and Miley Cyrus, was scheduled to run Aug. 16 through Aug. 18 in Watkins Glen, New York.

When Dentsu Aegis made the decision to pull out, it “informed us that they were canceling the festival at the same time they let the press release go public,” Lang said. “We have yet to understand why they would try to prevent the festival from happening by seemingly undermining us in this way. It is one thing to decide for oneself that it is best to move on, but it is entirely another thing to try and close the door on us.”

On Monday, Dentsu Aegis said it didn’t believe the event could ensure “the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees.”

But it never had the right to cancel the festival, Lang said.

“Woodstock never belonged to Dentsu,” he said. “Woodstock belongs to the people and it always will. We don’t give up and Woodstock 50 will take place and will be a blast!”

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