Merle Haggard Pulls Out of Nashville Festival Over Contract Dispute
Merle Haggard was a no-show at Nashville's Ink-N-Iron Festival on Friday night (Aug. 7) after a dispute with festival organizers.
The 78-year-old country legend was the top-billed performer at the four-day tattoo, music and car event, and he kicked off the festival on Thursday night (Aug. 6) with a concert at Nashville's Bicentennial Mall State Park. But he pulled out of his scheduled performance on Friday night, announcing the news to his fans via social media just minutes before he was slated to take the stage at 10PM.
"Tonight my management team advised me that the terms and conditions of my contract with Ink & Iron had not been met for last night's show and would not be met by showtime tonight," he wrote on Facebook. "I place my confidence in my management team to make these decisions. I regret that I will not perform for my Nashville fans tonight. I look forward to returning to Nashville soon under better circumstances."
Festival founder Trace Edwards tells Nashville's Tennessean newspaper that fans who purchased single-day wristbands for Friday's concert will now have unlimited access to all festival events for the rest of the weekend to make up for the missed performance.
"While Shooter Jennings and three great bands performed on Friday night, Merle did not join the party," he says in an email. "Ink-n-Iron will honor those holding wristbands from last evening's show with unlimited access to the festival. This weekend, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy and discover for themselves one of the amazing 55 bands who will perform over the next two days at Ink-n-Iron. That's the spirit of the festival. We invite everyone in Nashville to enjoy the (festival) in this beautiful setting."
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