Organizers of the Woodstock 50 festival have formally released all artists scheduled to play from their contracts, Billboard has learned.
John Fogerty and Jay-Z had already reportedly pulled out of the Aug. 16-18 festival and last night (July 25), 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.
The letter explained that artists were still invited to play the festival, but were not legally obligated to show up. Moving the event 350 miles south would be a breach of the performance contract many artists signed, although most agents believed that Woodstock 50 had breached their contracts in late April when investor Dentsu, who had spent millions on upfront artist advances, pulled out of the event and tried to cancel the festival. Today's news frees the artists on the lineup to perform at different events from Aug. 16-18, but with only weeks to go, it's unclear if there is enough time to add more shows.