Music

John Fogerty Is ‘Bewildered’ Over Canceled Country Fest Queensland Set: I’m ‘Ready & Willing to Do This Show’

John Fogerty is continuing to speak out about the mysterious cancelation of his performance at this year’s Country Fest Queensland in Australia. 

Chatting with Billboard on Wednesday (Feb. 28), the Creedence Clearwater Revival founder says that he’s still “in total shock” over the festival’s Tuesday (Feb. 27) announcement that his performance was canceled due to “unforeseen circumstances.”  

“I’m bewildered,” he says, sounding jovial but confused. “I still remain able and ready and willing to do this show. I take the commitment of playing for the fans very seriously. Throughout my career, practically my whole life, there’s hardly ever been a cancelation.”  

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The performance, which had been scheduled for the weekend of March 30, would have marked Fogerty’s first show in Australia in more than a decade. According to the singer and his rep, Country Fest Queensland alerted his agent Friday (Feb. 23) that he’d been removed from the lineup without explanation, but continued to sell tickets with his name attached to the event for four days afterward, up until announcing the the cancellation of his performance to the public on Tuesday. (Country Fest Queensland did, however, offer refund options to ticketholders no longer interested in attending in light of Fogerty’s “non-appearance.”) 

Fogerty and his team maintain that they have not been made aware of any reason for the sudden change. Billboard has reached out to Country Fest Queensland for comment.

“I really don’t know a lot,” Fogerty tells Billboard. “I was happy to be coming down to Australia to play. It sounded like a really fun event.” 

Soon after Country Fest announced that Fogerty was no longer part of the billing, the “Old Man Down The Road” singer posted a statement on Instagram. “I was ready to celebrate with you all for my one and only show this year in Australia when the Country Fest Queensland blindsided me yesterday by canceling my appearance,” it read.  

“It was posted that I would not be appearing due to unforeseen circumstances,” his statement continued. “Well, I can tell you, my friends, I was not the reason for the ‘unforeseen circumstances.’” 

Country Fest has since shared a follow-up statement claiming that negotiations with Fogerty’s team “did not reach a final outcome” and ceased on Friday (Feb. 23). “The matter is now subject to court proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland,” it continued, adding that the festival does not “intend to comment further” until the case is heard mid March. 

However, neither Fogerty nor his rep know of any details regarding the “court proceedings” mentioned by Country Fest Queensland, they tell Billboard. They also expressed confusion over the festival’s assertion that negotiations had never been finalized; according to Fogerty, his contract was signed and fully agreed upon in mid-January. 

“My wife Julie and I and our people … we started making all the usual preparations to arrive at the showplace on the show date and, you know, do my show,” he tells Billboard. “Everything was normal as far as I knew.” 

What’s most important to Fogerty now is that his Aussie fans know how much he wants to perform for them. On Tuesday night, he posted a video dedicated directly to them, in which he plays an acoustic rendition of CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising.” 

“It’s a big disappointment what’s going on right now,” he says in the clip before diving into the song, sitting in a chair with his golden retriever lying at his feet. “A shock, actually. Sometimes things get complicated, beyond my grasp anyway.”  

“I’d certainly never cancel for convenience, or for [the sake of being] – what do you call those – a diva,” he tells Billboard. “There were some people that were going to travel quite a distance. I just feel really bad about it. As far as I’m concerned, the fans come first.” 

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