NEW YORK — 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 today.
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.