Jay-Z’s got 99 problems but Woodstock isn’t one! The rapper has pulled out of the 50th anniversary Woodstock festival just weeks before the event. Jay-Z will no longer close the three-day festival scheduled for August 16-18.
The same day this announcement came out, John Fogerty, who performed at the original 1969 festival with Creedence Clearwater Revival, pulled out of the anniversary event. Dead & Company will also not perform at Woodstock 50.
Woodstock 50 has faced some 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 not even gone on sale yet. Originally, there were plans to have the event in New York, 115 miles from the original site, but the venue pulled out. So now, the plan is to have the event in Maryland, 270 miles south of the original New York site.
Bill Werde, the former editorial director of Billboard, said because of the location change, artists will likely back out of performing. He also said “For the sake of the legacy of Woodstock, I kind of wish they would stop. It’s like watching a boxer who just won’t stay down when he really should.”
Most people will have to agree with him on that. Why ruin a historic moment in music history? Like many new festivals, it seems a little disorganized and on the way to becoming another Fyre Fest. The organizers should take Jay-Z pulling out of the event as a sign that they should cancel the event for the sake of fans and themselves. The intention seemed to be in the right place but the execution looks like it’s failing.