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Woodstock fallout: No Jay-Z, Fogerty

Mesfin Fekadu
Associated Press

New York – Jay-Z’s got 99 problems but Woodstock isn’t one: The rap king has pulled out of the 50th anniversary Woodstock festival just weeks before the troubled event is supposed to take place.

Jay-Z will no longer close the three-day festival scheduled for Aug. 16-18, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t allowed to discuss the plans publicly.

A representative for the singer tells The Associated Press that John Fogerty, who performed at the original festival in 1969, will now only perform at a smaller Woodstock anniversary event held at the original site in Bethel, N.Y.

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 and festival co-founder Michael Lang 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 in the last few months, 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.

Jay-Z makes an announcement of the launch of Dream Chasers record label in joint venture with Roc Nation, at the Roc Nation headquarters on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in New York.

With Fogerty and rapper-actor Common by his side, Lang announced in March that 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 told the AP that she couldn’t confirm the report and said the organizers had no further comment.