Judge Barry Ostrager ruled that Dentsu did not have the right to cancel the event, and that Woodstock LC had the right to continue on with the event.
"Woodstock 50 is on!" A judge ruled Wednesday (May 15) that investors Dentsu Aegis had no right to cancel the festival last month after it severed ties with Woodstock 50, LLC, the organizers behind the upcoming event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the iconic 1969 festival.
"We have always relied on the truth and have never lost faith that the Festival would take place", Michael Lang said after the partial victory. I would like to thank all of the talent and their representatives for their patience and support.
A Dentsu rep said in court Monday that music festival production company Superfly, which has also dropped out of Woodstock 50, blamed snow for delaying the planning process at Watkins Glen and warned capacity may be as low as 61,000. However, the Woodstock 50 founder combatted those claims by saying that it's still going on but unfortunately, he's out of $17.8M that was meant for the festival.
"Woodstock 50 is on!" organizer Gregory Peck said in a press release.
According to court filings, among the red flags Amplifi Live raised with the festival included the fact that "multiple permits necessary to conduct the festival were not in place, tickets had not yet been sold, no budget had been agreed upon, necessary and expensive structural improvements to the festival site and related areas had not yet started and the production company essential to produce the festival had withdrawn".
The promoter's company had sought an injunction against the Dentsu arm and slammed it for pulling its funding out.
Earlier this week, Woodstock LC, the entity that owns the Woodstock intellectual property, and Dentsu/Amplifi live, the Japanese mega-corp that invested almost $18 million in the event, battled over a preliminary injunction in NY state court.
Headliners and expected performers at the festival include The Killers, Dead and Company, Imagine Dragons, JAY-Z, Miley Cyrus, The Lumineers, Chance the Rapper, Cage the Elephant, Halsey and Carlos Santana, among many others.
According to Justice Ostrager, Woodstock 50's contract with Dentsu - and their subsidiary, Amplifi Live - did not entitle them to control the money, and that Amplifi Live had a right to "mitigate its damages" after concluding that the festival's future was untenable.
Woodstock 50, planned for August 16-18 at the Watkins Glen motor racing venue in NY state with a lineup that includes rapper Jay-Z, and pop singer Miley Cyrus, was thrown into doubt last month after Japanese investors announced they had chose to "cancel the event".