Will Woodstock 50 go ahead after judge rules against investor pullout?

Singer John Fogerty speaks during the announcement event for the lineup for the Woodstock 50th Anniversary concert on March 19, 2019.
Singer John Fogerty speaks during the announcement event for the lineup for the Woodstock 50th Anniversary concert on March 19, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Organisers of a three-day concert marking the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival said on Wednesday (May 15) the show was back on after winning a court ruling against a lead investor.

Woodstock 50, planned for Aug 16-18 at the Watkins Glen motor racing venue in New York state with a line-up that includes rapper Jay-Z, and pop singer Miley Cyrus, was thrown into doubt last month after Japanese investors announced they had decided to "cancel the event".

Judge Barry Ostrager on Wednesday ruled that Amplifi Live, a unit of Japanese company Dentsu, "does not have the right to unilaterally cancel the festival".

But he, in his ruling, cast doubt on whether the festival could still proceed.

He wrote that "it appears it is no longer feasible to conduct the festival" and declined to order the return to the organisers of US$17.8 million (S$24.4 million) that Amplifi has withdrawn from the Woodstock 50 bank account.

Dentsu said while the court ruled that Amplifi Live could not unilaterally cancel the festival, "at this time we do not intend to further invest".

Amplifi said the event was plagued by delays in obtaining permits, arranging security, water supplies and sanitation.

 

Woodstock 50 announced in March that more than 80 acts, including 1969 festival veterans John Fogerty, Canned Heat and Santana, would take part.

Some 100,000 fans were expected to attend but court documents indicated the number of tickets had been reduced to 60,000.