Michael Lang, organizer and co-creator of the legendary 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair, died Saturday (January 8) at Sloan Kettering hospital in New York City, Rolling Stone and different report. Michael Pagnotta, a longtime family friend and representative for Lang, confirmed the news in both publications, saying the cause of death was a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Lang is 77 years old.
Lang was born in Brooklyn in 1944. He attended New York University for a while before retiring and moving to Coconut Grove, Florida, where he opened a head shop in 1967. The following year, Lang and Richard O’Barry were led the promotion for the Miami Pop Festival, featuring performances from Jimi Hendrix Experience, Chuck Berry, Frank Zappa’s group Mothers of Invention, John Lee Hooker, and more. The event attracted 25,000 attendees — a fraction of the crowd that will pour into Woodstock the following summer.
Lang was just 24 years old when he envisioned Woodstock with co-founders Artie Kornfeld, John Rosenman, and John P. Roberts. The four-day festival took place August 15-18, 1969 on a 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York owned by Max Yasgur. An estimated 400,000 people attended, a rush that caused a huge traffic jam and eventually closed the New York State Thruway.
Woodstock’s lineup is filled with 1960s icons: the Who, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix (whose solo performance in “The Star-Spangled Banner”Became legendary in its own right), Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and more. Carlos Santana’s blistering set of promoted by psychedelics, which is readily available at the festival. The show was a success for Santana, becoming one of Woodstock’s most memorable moments on stage.
Lang revived the Woodstock moniker in 1994, with concerts on its 25th anniversary that included performances from Woodstock ’69 alumni Carlos Santana, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Joe Cocker, as well as bands such as Cranberries, Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Primus, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Woodstock ’94 was held in Saugerties, New York, about 70 miles from the original Bethel site. The event was later known as “Mudstock” after the torrential rains on the second and third days of the festival. Mud covered the audience members and artists pair. The following Woodstock ’99 was worse, with many issues such as water scarcity, congestion, and other problems returned to a new documentary on HBO in the event.
In early 2019, Lang Office has partnered a festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Woodstock 50 was originally scheduled to take place from Aug. 16-18 in Watkins Glen, New York. A star-studded lineup is Revelation soon after, with scheduled sets from JAY-Z, Dead & Co., Chance the Rapper, the Black Keys, Sturgill Simpson, the Raconteurs, the Killers, Run the Jewels, Janelle Monáe, Santana, Earl Sweatshirt, and so on. Unfortunately, a series of failures ensued, including issues getting it right. permit, exit to investors and artists, a change of place, ug final cancellation in July, 2019.
In addition to her work as a promoter and concert organizer, Lang owns and operates Just Sunshine Records, a label that releases works by Karen Dalton, Betty Davis, and Mississippi Fred McDowell, among others. He also worked as an artist manager for Ricky Lee Jones, Joe Cocker, and others. Just a 2009 book Woodstock Road Recorded his journey from Bensonhurst Brooklyn, to the Miami Pop Festival, and finally the important weekend of 1969, which is still remembered as one of the most important events in rock history.