AceShowbiz - The dispute between organizers of Woodstock 50 and their former investor, Dentsu Aegis, has turned into a legal battle. Attorney Marc Kasowitz filed a legal lawsuit against the Japanese company on behalf of the festival on Wednesday, May 8, accusing the investor of verbally and financially sabotaging the upcoming event.
According to the court document, the organizers claimed that Dentsu "secretly decided to abandon, and then sabotage the Festival to ensure that it would never happen." Organizers also accused the investor of pillaging the festival's bank account and taking "all of the $17.8 million in the account earmarked for Festival production cost."
As for the sabotage allegation, organizers claimed that Dentsu contacted "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."
Woodstock 50 is now seeking the return of the bank account money and wants an order barring Dentsu from talking about the festival with the media, performers or others. A Manhattan judge temporarily granted the gag order on Thursday at least until a hearing set for Monday.
The controversy started in late last month, when Dentsu announced that it was canceling the event. Hours later, Woodstock 50's co-founder Michael Lang and Woodstock LLC said that the festival isn't canceled. Lang additionally accused the company of siphoning off the $17 million from the festival's bank account.
However, a spokesperson for the firm denied the accusation in a statement. "As financial partner, we had the customary rights one would expect to protect a large investment," the spokesperson said. "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."
Woodstock 50 is set to take place between August 16 and 18.