Woodstock 50: Michael Lang accuses Dentsu of “treachery,” taking millions

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Woodstock 50 co-founder Michael Lang is accusing former festival financier Dentsu Aegis and their President and CEO Toshihiro Yamamoto of treachery and taking $17 million, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Dentsu withdrew their support of Woodstock 50 and canceled the festival on April 29. Lang is reportedly seeking $30 million in investments by Friday, May 10 to keep the festival afloat.

According to the report, Lang sent Yamamoto a letter on Monday saying “we only would ask that you honor the law and your obligations, stop interfering with our efforts to put on this wonderful event and return the $17 million you improperly took.” 

A Dentsu spokesperson said in a statement, “As financial partner, we had the customary rights one would expect to protect a large investment. After we exercised our contractual right to take over, and subsequently cancel the festival, we simply recovered the funds in the festival bank account, funds which we originally put in as financial partner.”

Lang also noted that Dentsu is a major organizer of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and that they could benefit from artists withdrawing from Woodstock 50.

“In the end, since Dentsu has already abandoned Woodstock, all I ask for is that Dentsu walk away peacefully and allow me to deliver to the people a 50th Anniversary Festival,” Lang wrote Monday.

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