Jay-Z is no longer participating in Woodstock 50, a source has confirmed. The rapper was set to close out the revival of the famous 1969 concert, which is scheduled for Aug. 16-18.
His departure comes the day after John Fogerty pulled his involvement from the troubled festival over a recently announced venue change. Michael Lang, who is organizing the revival, is in negotiations to relocate Woodstock 50 to Merriweather Post Pavilion, a 32,500 capacity venue equidistant from Washington D.C. and Baltimore. The relocation follows other financial and organizational problems for the fest, tickets for which have yet to go on sale.
Woodstock 50 was originally set to take place at Watkins Glen International Speedway in upstate New York, but the venue posed issues including the ability to provide food and beverage for such a presumably massive crowd, as well as the bathroom, parking, and security needs that would accompany the fest.
One insider said the Merriweather Post option is a non-starter: “The bands won’t do it. They were contracted to play a show in Watkins Glen.” A second source backs up this assertion noting that many of the top-drawing artists have already been paid and are simply waiting for the festival to cancel itself so they can keep their fees.
With Fogerty and Jay-Z’s withdrawals, that conjecture is getting closer to bearing out.