Woodstock 50 Loses a Headliner

Jay-Z pulls out of troubled festival, still scheduled for next month
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 26, 2019 4:31 PM CDT
Jay-Z and John Fogerty Drop Out of Woodstock 50
John Fogerty performs at the Woodstock 50 lineup announcement in New York in March.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Jay-Z has pulled out of the 50th anniversary Woodstock festival just weeks before the troubled event is supposed to take place. The rap king will no longer close the three-day festival scheduled for Aug. 16-18, a person familiar with the situation told the AP on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The news comes on the same day that John Fogerty, who performed at the original 1969 festival with Creedence Clearwater Revival, pulled out of the anniversary event. Representatives for Woodstock 50 said they had no comment about Jay-Z and Fogerty's decision to back out of the festival. Woodstock 50 has faced a series of setbacks, including permit denials and the loss of a financial partner and a production company. No venue has been publicly announced, and tickets have yet to go on sale.

In March, the lineup was announced as including Jay-Z, Dead & Company, the Killers, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, and Chance the Rapper would perform at Woodstock 50. The festivities were supposed to take place across three main stages at Watkins Glen International racetrack in Watkins Glen, New York, about 115 miles northwest of the original site, but the venue pulled out. Bloomberg reported Thursday that the event will now take place at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater that seats 19,000 in Columbia, Maryland, some 270 miles south of the original New York site. A representative for Woodstock 50 said organizers had no further comment. Bill Werde, the former editorial director of Billboard, said some of the acts still on board may just wait for the festival to be canceled before going public.

(More Woodstock stories.)

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