Woodstock organizer Michael Lang has died aged 77

Michael Lang, a Brooklyn native and co-creator of the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival, died Saturday night at the age of 77.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lang was at Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan at the time of his death, which is attributed to complications from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

While Lang produced other notable events, like the 1968 Miami Pop Festival with Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, he is best known for the four-day Woodstock concert at Max Yasgur’s Ustate Farm in Bethel, New York. The concert, to which nearly half a million people flocked, took place August 15-18 and featured artists such as Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Ravi Shankar, Arlo Guthrie, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Santana, Joe Cocker, Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, Sha Na Na, Jimi Hendrix, The Band and many more.

Lang and fellow Woodstock promoter Artie Kornfeld can be seen at the concert in the clip below:

“This is the way of hearing music, I think, surrounded by hills and farmland, under a big sky,” he wrote in his 2009 book The Woodstock Road.

Lang and Woodstock’s official photographer, Henry Diltz, spoke to WNYC that year about the release, sharing memories of the festival, Lang saying at the time that it was “very difficult to get away from … it” is such an iconic event, I’m so closely associated with it, and because I was in the movie, I’m so recognized. “

Lang also produced the Woodstock ’94 event and the chaotic Woodstock ’99, which was the subject of a scathing HBO documentary last year in which Lang appeared. Although Lang tried to host an event for Woodstock’s 50th anniversary in 2019, lack of funding and planning prevented him from moving forward.

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