AceShowbiz - Woodstock founder Michael Lang has accused his former backers of siphoning off $17 million (£13 million) from funds meant for this year's 50th anniversary event.
Acts including Jay-Z and The Killers are scheduled to perform at Watkins Glen in New York in August at Woodstock 50, which marks the golden anniversary of the iconic 1969 festival. However, the future of the event was thrown into doubt last week, end May 05, when executives at the Dentsu Aegis Network, who were funding the event, announced it had been cancelled.
Lang insists his big celebration will still go ahead, and on Monday, May 06, penned a letter accusing Dentsu's subsidiary Amplifi of siphoning off the $17 million from Woodstock's accounts.
According to Variety, Lang has claimed that his ex-backers, "illegally swept approximately $17 million from the festival bank account leaving the festival in peril."
He also accused Dentsu bosses of badgering stakeholders in the festival, including performers, to cut business ties with him, alleging they dangled bookings at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, where they are a marketing partner, as a potential incentive.
In a statement to Variety, a spokesperson for the firm denied the claims, saying, "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 is reportedly trying to raise $30 million (£23 million) by Friday to ensure Woodstock 50 goes ahead as planned.