NEW YORK – Michael Lang, the co-creator and promoter of the 1969 Woodstock music festival that served as a landmark for generations of music fans, has passed away.
Michael Pagnotta, a spokesman for the Lang family, said Sunday the 77-year-old had been battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and died Saturday at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
“He is absolutely a historical figure, and also a wonderful man,” Pagnotta, who said he has known Lang for about 30 years, told The Associated Press. “Both of those things go hand in hand.”
Along with his partners Artie Kornfeld, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, Lang incorporated what was billed as “three days of peace and music” in the summer of 1969 when the Vietnam War broke out and drove youth numbers. Disgruntled America turns its back on a growing tradition. more and adopt a lifestyle that honors freedom of expression.
About 400,000 people flocked to Bethel village, about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of New York City, and endured mile-long traffic jams, torrential rains, shortages of food and equipment overload. toilet. More than 30 acts performed on the concert’s main stage at the foothills on land owned by farmer Max Yasgur, and concertgoers watched iconic performances by the artists. Artists include Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, The Who and Jefferson Airplane.
Lang, whose head is covered with bushy brown hair, is seen throughout Michael Wadleigh’s 1970 documentary documenting the history of the festival.
“From the very beginning, I believed that if we do our job right and from the heart, prepare the base and set the right tone, people will express themselves higher and create something wonderful,” Lang wrote in his memoir, “The Road to Woodstock. ”
Lang and others had been looking to put on a concert in 2019 to celebrate the original Woodstock’s 50th anniversary, but the attempt was ultimately aborted due to financial problems and difficulty securing a venue. . In an interview with the AP at the time, Lang called the experience “a really weird ride” and said he still hopes to hold concerts in the future.
While Woodstock is often seen as the mold maker for large-scale music festivals, this isn’t the first time it has taken place in the US. Two years earlier, the Monterey Pop festival had drawn some 200,000 people to California, and in 1968 the Miami Pop Festival. followed, which Lang also organized. But Woodstock nonetheless holds an indelible place in history.
“A lot of them are modeled after Woodstock – especially Bonnaroo and Coachella,” Lang said of the other festivals in a 2009 interview. “There is a ritual that was created and continues to be replicated. .”
https://time.com/6138001/michael-lang/ Michael Lang, Woodstock Festival Co-creator, Dies at 77