×

Woodstock 50 Gets Temporary Gag Order Placed on Former Investors; Hearing Set for Monday

Dentsu is constrained from communicating with festival stakeholders or media until a Monday hearing.

UPDATED: Woodstock 50 got part of what they were looking for from the New York Supreme Court Thursday, as a preliminary injunction was issued restraining their former investors, Dentsu, from “all communications” involving the festival until a hearing the court has set for Monday afternoon.

“We are grateful for the judge’s order, which prevents Dentsu and Amplify from continuing their baseless attack on the Woodstock festival and its owners, and we look forward to procuring additional relief on Monday,” said Woodstock 50 attorney Marc Kasowitz.

Dentsu declined to comment — as would be expected, given the court order prohibiting it.

Still on hold is the matter of the $17.8 million that Woodstock 50 claims was illegally taken by Dentsu, draining the festival bank account, when the Japanese marketing and investment firm pulled out April 29. That will also be taken up at the Monday hearing, along with whether the gag order Woodstock has sought will continue.

The next round between Woodstock and Dentsu will take place at 2:15 p.m. Monday in the court of Judge Borrok in the commercial division of New York’s Supreme Court.

Woodstock 50’s emergency application to the court was made Wednesday in a filing that claimed Dentsu is engaged in an “inexplicable plot to destroy the festival.”

The court signed off on Woodstock’s request that “Dentsu shall cease all communications relating to the Festival, including with the media, and Festival stakeholders, including state  and county officials, venue operators, local vendors, community representatives, insurers, producers, and talent agencies and performers,” pending Monday’s proceedings.

In the filing, the law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres had argued that Dentsu draining the Woodstock 50 bank account as the company moved to unilaterally shut down the festival was “the equivalent of one spouse raiding a marital bank account and changing the locks in the middle of the night to lock out the other spouse and starve them of money to live. It’s contractually wrong and morally reprehensible.”

On Monday, after Woodstock founder Michael Lang first made public his accusation about the “pilfered” millions, Dentsu issued a response to Variety, 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.”

Woodstock’s court filing fired back at Dentsu’s assertion that there is contractual language that allowed them to cancel the festival. As an exhibit in the case, Woodstock 50 included a copy of a production agreement between the festival and Dentsu’s partner, Amplifi Live, that said, “Any decision to cancel the Festival shall be jointly made in writing by the Parties.”

The court filing repeated the assertion on Woodstock’s part that Dentsu offered an odd quid pro quo if artists would abandon the festival: “Dentsu has even implied to certain performers that if they play ball with Dentsu and follow its demand to breach their agreement with W50, that Dentsu may find a place for those performers to perform at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, for which Dentsu is a major sponsor.”

So far, none of the 75-plus acts have pulled out of the festival (except the Black Keys, who bowed out very early on, citing scheduling difficulties). There is little reason for them to do anything but take a wait-and-see attitude. The injunction request said that “collectively, the performers have been paid in full a total of some $32 million,” fees the artists will get to keep whether or not the festival proceeds.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • RihannaFenty Beauty By Rihanna Launch, Madrid,

    Rihanna's Diamond Ball Will Honor Activist Shaun King, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley

    Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and civil rights activist Shaun King will receive this year’s Diamond Ball Award at Rihanna’s fifth annual Diamond Ball, which will also feature performances from Pharrell and DJ Khaled. “I can’t imagine a better night than this year’s Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled,” said [...]

  • Taylor Swift The Ally Coalition's 5th

    Taylor Swift Says She Plans to Re-Record Big Machine Oldies

    When Taylor Swift let her feelings be known about her former label, Big Machine, ending up in the hands of Scooter Braun, speculation about what little recourse she had in the situation ran rampant: What if she simply re-recorded material from those first six studio albums? Although that was considered a long shot for any [...]

  • 50 Cent Power S6 Premiere

    50 Cent, Snoop Dogg & Trey Songz 'Power' Up New York City for Massive Season 6 Premiere

    “Power” is entering its final season, but you would never know if you walked by Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Starz pulled out all the stops for its ratings powerhouse “Power,” throwing a massive premiere event, complete with a full-length concert at Madison Square Garden from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and a [...]

  • Diane Warren'Late Night' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Songs of Hope to Honor Diane Warren, Marc Shaiman, Boi-1da, More at 15th Annual Event

    Cancer research and treatment center City of Hope today announced the initial lineup of presenters and honorees who will celebrate the song and songwriter at its 15th annual Songs of Hope event. Among the music and entertainment industry VIPs in attendance will be veteran executive and producer Clive Davis, producer Boi-1da (Drake, Kendrick Lamar), award-winning [...]

  • Warner Records Names Claudia Butzky Senior

    Warner Records Names Claudia Butzky Senior VP of Brand Partnerships

    Warner Records has named Claudia Butzky senior vice president of brand partnerships, strategic marketing & commercial sync licensing, the company announced today. Based in Los Angeles, Butzky will report to Tom Corson, Co-Chairman & COO, Warner Records, and essentially will fill the role vacated by former EVP Lori Feldman, who left the company earlier this [...]

  • Big Hit Entertainment, Home to BTS,

    Big Hit Entertainment, Home to BTS, Posts Blockbuster Results for First Half of 2019

    South Korea’s Big Hit Entertainment, home to BTS, revealed its revenues for the first half of 2019 at an event called “Big Hit Corporate Briefing With the Community” held in Seoul today. The company posted record revenues of $166.3 million — just $12 million short of its revenues for all of 2018, according to analysis [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content