Just days after John Fogerty became the first legacy act to officially withdraw participation in the upcoming Woodstock 50 event put on by original 1969 Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, Dead & Company have made the same decision. Their move comes after hip-hop icon Jay-Z also announced his withdrawal from the event, which has undergone significant challenges and changes to its plan.
Rolling Stone confirmed the report over the weekend, noting that the band had not issued a statement — but the story was confirmed via a source close to the Grateful Dead supergroup.
In another development, Billboard reported that all of the previously confirmed acts on the original Woodstock 50 event have been released from their contracts:
Reps for the festival and organizer Michael Lang emailed talent agents with bands on the bill and informed them that they would not try to enforce performance contracts for the event. Organizers attempted to move Woodstock 50 to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland after their permit to stage the festival in Vernon, New York had been rejected.
As it stands now, the Michael Lang-produced Woodstock 50 event may end up being free, though donations will be encouraged.
A separate 50th anniversary of Woodstock event is scheduled for Bethel Woods, is scheduled for August 15-18 and will feature Ringo Starr, Santana and more.
Stay tuned …