Jay-Z, John Fogerty, Pull Out Of Woodstock 50 Festival Over Venue Concerns
After financial and organisational problems, the move of the Woodstock 50th anniversary show to a new venue has been rejected by leading artists and agents.
The troubled Woodstock 50 festival looks headed for collapse with agents representing various artists telling organisers they do not accept a change of venue.
The show, to commemorate the famous 1969 music festival, was due to take place at Watkins Glen International Speedway in upstate New York, August 16 to 18 -- with capacity for an estimated audience of up to 150,000 people.
After financial and organisational problems, tickets were never sold and the show has now been moved to Maryland's Merriweather Post Pavilion -- with a potential capacity of 32,500.
However, agents are uniting to tell Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang thanks, but no thanks.
Earlier on Friday, sources close to Jay-Z confirmed the rapper is no longer participating in Woodstock 50. His departure comes hours after John Fogerty pulled his involvement from the festival.
"No bands want to look greedy but most can't play Maryland and don't want to be involved in an event that is not properly conceived and developed, or risk the health and safety of their fans," says an insider who works with one of the headliners, adding that managers, attorneys and agents are consulting with each other. "We took it as far down the road as we could. The clock just ran out."
Woodstock 50 was slated to feature a blockbuster lineup including Jay-Z, The Killers, Dead & Co., Miley Cyrus and many others. All of the acts were paid upfront, totalling more than US$30 million (AU$43 million) in talent fees -- the highest-paid act received US$2 million (AU$2.8 million), according to sources.
That money remains in escrow at agencies who anticipate keeping the cancellation fee and applying it to their clients' accounts.