NEW YORK CITY (CelebrityAccess) — Promoter Michael Lang has taken the former financial backers of his Woodstock 50 anniversary music festival to court, seeking to compel Dentsu Aegis Network to return its nearly $18 million investment to the festival.
In a petition for an injunction filed on Wednesday with the New York Supreme Court, attorneys for the festival asked the court to force Dentsu to return $17.8 million withdrawn from the festival’s bank account after Dentsu’s enthusiasm for the festival waned.
The petition also seeks to compel Dentsu to continue developing the festival and to be more transparent in its financial accounting. At the same time, the petition also seeks to block Dentsu’s reps from speaking with the media about the festival or disparaging Woodstock 50, interfering with its contracts with artists and vendors, and undermining the event.
The petition also accuses Dentsu of attempting to “seize control and oust W50 from the festival’s production” and then, when that failed, of trying to sabotage the event by announcing that it was “unilaterally cancelling the Festival.”
“Dentsu compounded its egregious conduct by contacting numerous stakeholders — including musical talent and their agents, insurers and public officials — falsely telling them that they were released from their contracts with W50 and the Festival, and that the performers should not perform at the Festival, though they have all been paid in full. Dentsu went so far as to tell those performers and agents that Dentsu will indemnify them for the losses caused by their terminating their contracts and refusing to perform. Then, in a further effort to irreparably sabotage W50’s ability to produce the Festival, Dentsu stole nearly $18
million in funds from the dedicated Festival bank account,” the petition said.
A rep for Dentsu Aegis, which is a Japanese marketing company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the injunction petition.