Woodstock 50: Report details behind the scene struggles

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A new report from Billboard is detailing evidence presented by Dentsu in court detailing dysfunction within the festival’s plans, including infrastructure and financial problems.

According to the report, Major Eric L. Laughton with New York State Police sent a detailed email listing concerns regarding the festival to Jim Tobin, who was helping the festival’s former production company Superfly.

Troop E was told that the capacity for the event would be 65,000 people, but Lang publically touted a crowd of 126,000 people during an April town hall streamed on Facebook by WETM.

Laughton was also concerned about a proposed pedestrian bridge stretching over County Route 16 that, he feared, could collapse due to poor engineering.

“If I have this correct, the PSI rating is 90lbs per square foot,” he wrote, explaining that the bridge had a limited capacity to handle tens of the thousands of people walking across it every day. 

“Though I am no expert in this area, my layman’s concern is if too many people tried to cross at the same time, the bridge could collapse.”

In addition to Major Laughton’s concerns, there were concerns regarding payment to artists and a request for deposits to be paid back should the festival be canceled. 

“On December 11, 2018, Amplifi Live sent W50 an offer form and informed W50 that they should contract with artists only using that form,” Dentsu attorney Marc Greenwald writes. “The approved offer form gave the Parties valuable live-streaming rights to the artists’ performances and ensured that the Parties could receive a refund of any deposits paid to performing artists if the Festival was canceled for any reason.”

Lang allegedly continued to book talent for the festival after being told to stop due to budget and capacity restraints set by coordinators.

The report notes that Lang leased the second floor of a four-bedroom home in Woodstock, New York to serve as his “office” leading up to the festival in Watkins Glen. The one-year lease cost $2,500 a month.

For more details regarding the report visit Billboard.com.

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