UPDATED: Has the cavalry arrived for Woodstock 50? A new financial partner, Oppenheimer & Co., has come on board, although the exact capacity in which they’re involved isn’t entirely clear from the announcement, which describes the company’s involvement as a “financial advisor to complete the financing for the festival.” A source clarified (somewhat) that the festival has secured financing through Oppenheimer, although it was unclear how much money is involved.
The announcement follows by two days a court declaration that Woodstock 50’s former financiers, Dentsu, had no right to cancel the festival, as they’d attempted to.
“We are thrilled to be onboard for this incredible weekend of music and social engagement,” said John Tonelli, Oppenhimer’s head of debt capital markets & syndication, in a statement. “We believe in Woodstock as an important American cultural icon and look forward to its regeneration in the green fields of Watkins Glen this August with all of the artists on the remarkable lineup.”
The fate of the three-day gathering scheduled for Aug 16-18 has seemed up in the air for weeks, or months, as a deep rift between Woodstock 50 and Dentsu led to the breaking point of the latter company’s attempted cancellation. The same court ruling that said the financiers had no right to cancel the gathering also stated that they didn’t have to give back the $17.8 million investment they’d pulled out of a joint bank account. If the financial crisis has abated with Oppenheimer’s entry into the story, permitting and ticket-pricing issues have yet to be resolved.
Nonetheless, it was the promising development Woodstock 50 needed to keep hope alive. And, of course, there’s no “if” about it for co-founder Michael Lang, who waxed ebullient over this latest development. “We’ve lined up artists who won’t just entertain, but will remind the world that music has the power to bring people together, to heal, to move us to action and to tell the stories of a generation,” Lang said in a statement. “We look forward to putting on an incredible festival. Words cannot express how appreciative Woodstock 50, the artists, the fans and the community are to Oppenheimer for joining with us to make W50 a reality.”
The announcement of Oppenheimer’s involvement included a promise that tickets will go on sale shortly.