John Fogerty has become the first artist to publicly announce he wouldn’t appear at the Woodstock 50 festival in its new location in Columbia, Md.

Woodstock 50 subsequently released all artists from their contracts after announcing the move to Maryland.

As a result of the many production issues faced by promoters, none of the acts who’d originally been announced for the Aug. 16-18 event are contractually obliged to appear – despite many having been paid some or all of their fees.

Fogerty, who played the original Woodstock in 1969 with Creedence Clearwater Revival, previously announced plans to appear at both the “official” anniversary festival, which had been scheduled to take place at Watkins Glen International Speedway, and also at an “unofficial” event at the original location in Bethel Woods.

“John Fogerty knows where he will be for the anniversary weekend of Woodstock,” a statement said in Variety. “At only one site … at the original one – the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. … As he says in his song ‘Who’ll Stop the Rain,’ written returning from Woodstock: ‘No more confusion on the ground.’ … John is going back to the original site where his name appears on a plaque commemorating that weekend. John will celebrate his own 50th anniversary as well as Woodstock’s, together at Bethel on Aug. 18. Back at the original site that he stepped foot on 50 years ago, nearly to the day!”

Rapper Jay Z has also pulled out of the festival, according to TMZ.

The Woodstock 50 lineup originally included Robert PlantDead and Company, the KillersSantanaImagine Dragons and Greta Van Fleet. In addition to the fact that none of them had to appear unless the event took place at Watkins Glen, it’s also possible that previously agreed touring contracts could prohibit them from playing in Maryland. Many contracts stipulate that artists cannot undertake other commitments within a certain distance and time limit of a tour stop, in order to protect ticket sales.

Woodstock 50, now to be called Woodstock 50 Washington – in honor of its proximity to the nation’s capital – is expected to be held in front of an audience of 32,000, less than a sixth of the originally intended size. Tickets are expected to go on sale from $129 to $595, with a portion of proceeds to be donated to climate change and voter-turnout activist groups.


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