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John Fogerty Oz festival lawsuit to switch to US

A legal battle between John Fogerty and an Australian festival over the Creedence Clearwater Revival legend’s cancelled headline appearance is heading to arbitration in the US.

The 79-year-old American singer-songwriter was booked as a headliner for March 2024’s Country Fest Queensland, only for Fogerty’s slot to be cancelled by promoter SFP Events a month ahead of the event.

SFP subsequently sued Fogerty’s Little Swamp II firm and agency CAA for the return of his A$700,000 (€434,000) deposit, claiming there was no binding agreement, and asked Queensland Supreme Court to confirm its offer had been “validly withdrawn” in February.

“Negotiations with John Fogerty’s team had been in place for a number of months,” they said earlier this year. “Those negotiations were well advanced and were seeking to be progressed by us with best endeavours, however, those negotiations did not reach a final outcome, resulting in negotiations ceasing on Friday 23rd February 2024.

“The matter is now subject to court proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland.”

“It was posted that I would not be appearing due to unforeseen circumstances… I was not the reason for the ‘unforeseen circumstances’.”

According to The Music via Courier Mail, Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Treston has now concluded the issue should be settled via arbitration in the US, ruling that a Californian alternative dispute resolution company should resolve the dispute. Lawyerly reports the judge found equivalent claims could not be brought under Queensland law.

CAA reportedly put forward two requests for arbitration between the parties in March.

Country Fest Queensland went ahead as planned at Dittman Bullpit on 30-31 March, headlined by Morgan Evans, with other acts including Lee Kernaghan, James Johnston and The Wolfe Brothers.

Fogerty, who would have been making his first appearance in Australia in over a decade, insisted he was “blindsided” by the cancellation, which festival organisers attributed to “unforeseen circumstances”.

“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 cancelling my appearance,” Fogerty said on social media at the time. “It was posted that I would not be appearing due to unforeseen circumstances. Well, I can tell you, my friends, I was not the reason for the ‘unforeseen circumstances’.”


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