Michael Lang, Co-organizer of the 1969 Woodstock Festival and its subsequent anniversaries Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99, died on Saturday, January 8th at the age of 77, reports Variety.
Family spokesman Michael Pagnotta announced to the publication that Lang died of a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in a New York hospital.
In 1969, Lang teamed up with a songwriter and music producer Artie Cornfield and financial investors Joel Rosenmann and John Roberts Help shape the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, which takes place August 15-18 in Bethel, New York.
Billed as “3 Days of Peace, Love and Music”, the festival became one of the iconic events of the “Flower Power” era with performances by many of the day’s biggest rock acts, including Jimi Hendrix, The grateful dead, The WHO, Janis Joplin, Santana, Sly and the family stone, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson plane, Joe Cocker and many others.
Michael was the manager of Joe Cocker for many years and also managed several other acts.
Lang also helped organize the 25-year Woodstock Festival, Woodstock ’94, held on August 12-14 on a farm near Saugerties, New York. This event featured a mix of artists who had played the 1969 festival and contemporary acts from a variety of genres.
Five years later, Lang co-produced the ill-fated Woodstock ’99 festival, which took place July 22-25 at a former air base in Rome, New York. The event was portrayed as the antithesis of Woodstock’s 1969 and was made famous by the many reported incidents of violence, alleged sexual assault, fire and other vandalism by some attendees.
Lang also tried to organize a Woodstock 50th anniversary festival, originally scheduled to take place in Watkins Glen, New York, in August 2019. A huge, star-studded line-up of eminent performers from a variety of genres was confirmed, but the festival called Woodstock 50 fell into limbo when the financial backing company pulled out. Michael and his co-organizers tried to find a new funder and location for the festival, but the event was eventually canceled.
Lang is survived by his wife, Tamara, and five children.
A tribute to Michael was posted on Woodstock’s official social media pages saying, “He was a producer, father, environmentalist, friend, husband, and most importantly, a one-of-a-kind dreamer who made the world go round deny.”
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.