Michael Lang, promoter of the original Woodstock festival in 1969, insisted his 50th-anniversary event will go ahead, despite the withdrawal of its financial backer.

Dentsu Aegis Network yesterday reported that they had pulled out, saying, “Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees.”

The wording of its statement suggested the event had been canceled, but Lang disputed the position, adding that “legal remedy will [be] sought.”

In a new statement on Facebook, he added, “We are committed to ensuring that the 50th anniversary of Woodstock is marked with a festival deserving of its iconic name and place in American history and culture. Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will of course be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners. We would like to acknowledge the State of New York and Schuyler County for all of their hard work and support. The bottom line is, there is going to be a Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival, as there must be, and it’s going to be a blast!”

Speculation that the event was in trouble began circulating when the date for tickets going on sale, April 22, passed without the launch taking place. Lang dismissed the speculation as “just more rumors.”

His previously announced plans included the involvement of Robert Plant, the Black Keys and others, with the event to be held at Watkins Glen International Speedway in Watkins Glen, N.Y., on Aug. 16-18 – the same dates as the original. The Black Keys have since canceled their appearance. It’s not known whether any of the other plans will remain in place.

 

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