According to a family spokesperson, Michael Lang co-creator and organiser of Woodstock has died in New York on Saturday 8 January from a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Lang, who grew up in Brooklyn, began his career in concert promotion in the 60s promoting the 1968 Miami Pop Festival. That concert drew 25,000 attendees and had a line-up including Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa.
He then moved to Woodstock, New York, where he along with co-founders John Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld and John P Roberts, created the famous musical festival, Woodstock.
The first edition of the festival was held at farmer Max Yasgur’s dairy farm near New York in 1969 attracting a whopping 400,000 attendees. Those who went to the festival got see famed artists such as The Grateful Dead, The Who, Santana, and Sly and the Family Stone.
At one point the festival became free to enter with congestion so bad that the producers decided on a whim, that this was the way to resolve the issue. Started at the height of the hippie movement, the New York State highway was shut down to cope with the volume of people. The festival has gone down as one of the most seminal events in the history of music.
Woodstock was revived in 1994 and 1999 with a 50 anniversary festival in 2019 cancelled due permit and production issues, venue relocations, and artist cancellations.
Lang also owned and ran the label Just Sunshine Records and managed such artists as Joe Cocker, and Rickie Lee Jones.
He is survived by his wife Tamara, their sons Harry and Laszlo, and his daughters LariAnn, Shala, and Molly.
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