May 26, 2009
Woodstock Ventures, the partnership that staged the Woodstock Music
and Art Fair in 1969, has asked the organizer of a Woodstock 40th
anniversary concert in San Francisco to refrain from using the
Woodstock name and logo to promote their show in Golden Gate Park.
Woodstock Ventures includes partners Michael Lang and Joel Rosenman,
two of the four partners who staged the original, historic Woodstock concert.
San Francisco concert promoter Boots Hughston said his history with
staging live music events dates back to 1966 and the Family Dog, the
legendary outfit that staged concerts by the Grateful Dead, Jefferson
Airplane and others. He claims the San Francisco music scene of the
1960s set the stage for Woodstock.
"We're the ones who started the whole vibe to begin with," Hughston said.
He had originally called it a "40th Anniversary of Woodstock"
concert, but changed the name to "West Fest: Celebrating the 40th
Anniversary of Woodstock," after receiving a letter from Woodstock
Ventures regarding use of the name. Hughston said the new name didn't
satisfy Woodstock Ventures, and he received a second letter. The
concert is scheduled for Oct. 25 and Hughston said Vanilla Fudge and
"Country" Joe McDonald are among the scheduled performers.
Jonathan Reichman, attorney for Woodstock Ventures, said his clients
are trying to head off any confusion. Woodstock Ventures is not
involved in the San Francisco concert, and, Reichman said, doesn't
want the Woodstock name or iconic log a dove on the neck of a
guitar "to be used, in effect as a brand or identification."
Reichman said Woodsock Ventures is working toward a resolution and
could ultimately "license" the San Francisco concert.
But Hughston is planning a press conference for Wednesday in San
Francisco, to discuss this further. The San Francisco concert is
fully permitted and financed, he said, and will take place as
scheduled. According to a press release issued this afternoon,
Hughston at the press release will complain about "old fashioned
shakedown tactics" by Lang.