Legal Battle Between John Fogerty & Country Fest QLD Heads To The US

22 June 2024 | 8:50 am | Mary Varvaris

After months in court, the matter between Fogerty and Country Fest Queensland is reportedly heading to arbitration in the US.

John Fogerty

John Fogerty (Source: Supplied)

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Creedence Clearwater Revival legend John Fogerty was due to perform in Australia for the first time in twelve years back in March, but his exclusive performance at Country Fest Queensland was cancelled a month before the event was due to take place.

In late February, Country Fest Queensland promoters SFP Events Pty Ltd sued Fogerty’s Little Swamp II Inc. and his agent, Creative Artists Agency LLC (CAA).

The matter has been in court, and now, it’s been revealed that Fogerty has won the first round of the battle: Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Treston has reportedly ruled that the issue should go to arbitration in the US.

After a hearing on 3 June, Treston ruled on Friday (21 June) that a Californian alternative dispute resolution company should resolve the disagreement between the musician and the festival rather than court.

According to a Courier Mail report, SFP Events Pty Ltd were seeking the repayment of a US $700,000 ($1.07 million AUD) deposit paid to CAA’s trust account back in January. Before taking on his 100-minute performance at the festival, Fogerty was to be paid another $700,000 by 20 February but allegedly wasn’t paid.

Claiming that there was no binding contract between the festival and Fogerty, SFP asked the Queensland Supreme Court to rule that the offer made to Fogerty to headline the festival was “validly withdrawn” on 23 February.

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CAA then argued they did not sign the contract until after Country Fest Queensland organiser Regan Anderson withdrew the offer.

In March, CAA submitted two requests for arbitration between the parties.

Country Fest Queensland organisers stated after the dropping of Fogerty from the festival earlier this year:

Negotiations with John Fogerty’s team had been in place for a number of months. 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 and is due to be heard in mid-March. Until such time as the proceedings are dealt with, we do not intend to comment further.

According to Fogerty, that announcement surprised him just as much as it did the fans, and he wrote that he was “blindsided” in his own statement.

Fogerty wrote that he was “ready to celebrate” his one-off Australian appearances and claimed that he wasn’t the reason for the “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 wrote on Instagram.

“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.”

Country Fest Queensland went ahead in Bloomsbury (near Mackay) on Saturday, 30 and Sunday, 31 March, with Aussie headliner Morgan Evans.