Jay-Z, Dead & Co., John Fogerty abandon Woodstock 50

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RAPPER Jay-Z, jam band Dead & Co. and folk rocker John Fogerty have pulled out of next month’s Woodstock 50 music festival after the organizer relocated the event to Maryland.

Jay-Z was one of the headliners for the event, while Mr. Fogerty was one of the few acts from the original Woodstock that was going to appear at the 50th anniversary celebration.

Mr. Fogerty will go instead to the original Woodstock site in Bethel, New York, to commemorate the anniversary, a spokeswoman said in a statement. “As he says in his song ‘Who’ll Stop the Rain,’ written upon returning from Woodstock: ‘NO MORE CONFUSION ON THE GROUND.’”

A representative for Jay-Z couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Variety and Billboard reported the artists’ decisions earlier Friday.

Organizers relocated the music festival to the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, in an attempt to salvage the event. The three-day concert was initially slated for New York, the home state of the original Woodstock, but had to move elsewhere after the main financier backed out and county officials denied the event a permit.

Artists are who signed to perform are under no obligation to play at the new venue, which is several hours from the initial location. Other acts on the initial lineup include Halsey and Dead & Co., an offshoot of the Grateful Dead.

Promoters are hoping some acts will rally around the new event, which is now being presented as a benefit concert. Some of the ticket proceeds will go to organizations that register voters and combat climate change.

But the newer, smaller event is a far cry from the original Woodstock, which hosted hundreds of thousands of people in upstate New York. Tickets have yet to go on sale for the event, which is just a few weeks away. — Bloomberg