Former Woodstock 50 Investor Refutes Organizers’ $18 Million Theft Claim, John Mayer Addresses Dead & Company’s Headlining Status at Festival
The drama surrounding the status of Michael Lang’s Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration this August continues, as lawyers for Detsu, the Japanese company and former Woodstock 50 financier, released a statement yesterday refuting an attempt by festival organizers to gain a court order that would force Dentsu to return nearly $18 million that the company allegedly stole from Woodstock 50’s account.
As Billboard reports, a statement from Dentsu’s lawyer Marc L. Greenwald accuses Woodstock 50 LLC and Lang of “misrepresentations, incompetence, and contractual breaches” that “have made it impossible to produce a high-quality event that is safe and secure for concertgoers, artists, and staff. The production company has quit, no permits have been issued, necessary roadwork has not begun, and there is no prospect for sufficient financing. As much as the parties might wish it otherwise, the festival contemplated by their agreement cannot happen and allowing it to go forward would only put the public at risk.”
Woodstock 50’s allegations of the stolen $18 million came last week, along with accusations of defamation after Dentsu announced the festival’s cancellation (Lang quickly denied the statement), and a court hearing was scheduled for yesterday afternoon (we will update with any outcomes of the hearing as they are made available).
At the beginning of this month, Billboard also noted that multiple talent agencies representing artists on the Woodstock 50 lineup claimed that their clients no longer had an contractual obligation to appear at the fest following Dentsu cutting ties with the event.
One of the musicians set to play the 50th anniversary celebration, guitarist John Mayer of headliners Dead & Company, recently spoke with SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen (via Uproxx) about his thoughts on the Woodstock 50 drama, explaining that he had as much idea of what’s going on as most fans. He even threw in an apt Monty Python reference for good measure.
“I’m as much of a spectator as anyone else is to this wildness,” Mayer says. “I was told, ‘Yeah it’s not happening.’ There’s only one person still saying, ‘No, it’s gonna go.’ It reminds me of the scene in Monty Python [and The Holy Grail] where the knight is now missing the arm and the leg and he’s hopping up and down and saying, ‘It’s just a flesh wound.’ If those guys [Dead & Company] end up going, I will go, but it seems to me now: ‘It’s just a flesh wound’ and blood is spurting everywhere.”
Listen to a clip of Mayer’s interview below.