John Fogerty has become the first artist signed to perform at Woodstock 50 to publicly pull out, now that organizers are planning to hold the festival at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Maryland instead of the huge, originally scheduled site in New York.
”John Fogerty knows where he will be for the anniversary weekend of Woodstock,” his camp said in a statement late Thursday night. “At only one site… at the original one – the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.”
Fogerty was one of a handful of artists from the original 1969 lineup (at which point he fronted Creedence Clearwater Revival) who’d made plans to appear at both a modest, nostalgic gathering at Bethel Woods and also the massive gathering being produced by Michael Lang. The statement makes clear he’s had enough and is opting out of the perpetually troubled Woodstock 50.
That’s within his rights, and apparently the rights of everyone else booked for Woodstock 50, as contractual language stated the artists would only be held to the booking if the festival was held at Watkins Glen International Speedway, the site originally agreed, even though they’ll be paid either way. A further exodus is highly probable, if the new plan for the show to go on at a seated amphitheater between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. does come off at all.
The statement continues: “As (Fogerty) says in his song ‘Who’ll Stop the Rain,’ written upon returning from Woodstock – ‘NO MORE CONFUSION ON THE GROUND.’”
Other artists have been slow to publicly distance themselves from the festival until now, content to wait it out with little reason to ball with the guarantee of a payday either way, but now that a viable end game may be in sight for some incarnation of the festival, many top-tier acts may well exercise their right to pull out rather than play such a radically downsized amphitheater bill with few, if any, nostalgic ties to the original
“When John took the call from the organizers in 1969 and was asked to play a festival called ‘Woodstock,” John accepted,” said the statement. He and his band were the first act to sign up for the festival leading other iconic bands to follow….
“So now, 50 years later, 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 August 18. Back at the original site that he stepped foot on 50 years ago, nearly to the day!”