Michael Lang, co-creator of 1969 Woodstock music festival, dies aged 77 | Woodstock


Michael Lang, a co-creator and promoter of the 1969 Woodstock music pageant, has died.

Michael Pagnotta, a spokesperson for Lang’s household, stated the 77-year-old had non-Hodgkin lymphoma and died on Saturday on the Memorial Sloan Kettering Most cancers Heart in New York.

“He was completely an historic determine, and in addition an ideal man,” Pagnotta stated. “Each of these factor go hand in hand.”

With companions Artie Kornfeld, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, Lang put collectively the pageant billed as “three days of peace and music” in the summertime of 1969, because the Vietnam warfare raged and led disaffected younger Individuals to show away from conventional mores and embraced a way of life that celebrated freedom of expression.

Round 400,000 folks descended on the hamlet of Bethel, about 50 miles north-west of New York Metropolis, enduring miles-long site visitors jams, torrential rain, meals shortages and overwhelmed sanitary amenities.

Greater than 30 acts carried out on the primary stage on the base of a hill on land owned by farmer Max Yasgur, concertgoers handled to well-known performances from artists together with Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, The Who and Jefferson Airplane.

Lang, sporting a head of bushy brown hair, is seen all through Michael Wadleigh’s 1970 documentary that chronicled the pageant.

Jimi Hendrix, in a scene from Woodstock, a documentary account of the festival.
Jimi Hendrix, in a scene from Woodstock, a documentary account of the pageant. {Photograph}: Warner Bros/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

“From the start, I believed that if we did our job proper and from the guts, ready the bottom and set the proper tone, folks would reveal their greater selves and create one thing superb,” Lang wrote in a memoir, The Highway to Woodstock.

Lang and others sought to mount a fiftieth anniversary live performance in 2019 however the endeavor was scrapped on account of monetary points and issue securing a venue.

In an interview with the AP on the time, Lang known as the expertise “a very weird journey” and stated he hoped to carry the live performance sooner or later.

Though Woodstock is considered as creating the template for large-scale music festivals, it wasn’t the primary within the US. Two years earlier, the Monterey Pop pageant drew about 200,000 folks to California. In 1968 the Miami Pop Competition adopted, which Lang additionally organized.

However Woodstock nonetheless holds an indelible place in historical past.

“Rather a lot of them are modeled after Woodstock, Bonnaroo and Coachella particularly,” Lang stated in 2009. “There was a ritual that was created that retains getting replicated.”