Woodstock festival creator and promoter Michael Lang dies at 77

Lang was co-creator of the original 1969 Woodstock, and the festival's revivals in 1994 and 1999
Woodstock creator and promoter Michael Lang
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

Famed concert promoter and co-creator of the original 1969 Woodstock, and the festival’s revivals in 1994 and 1999, Michael Lang, has passed away at the age of 77, according to reps.

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The promoter, producer, manager, and sculptor, born December 11, 1944 in Brooklyn, NY, passed on January 8 following a short bout with a rare form of lymphoma.

After moving to Florida in 1967 to open a head shop, Lang made his way into the entertainment scene by promoting a number of concerts, eventually, with partner Marshall Brevetz, landing Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, John Lee Hooker, and more for 1968’s Miami Pop Festival.

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He moved to upstate New York soon after with the idea to create an event to celebrate music and social justice. He, along with Artie Kornfeld, John P. Roberts, and Joel Rosenman, came up with the original Woodstock concept in 1969 which brought close to half a million people to a family farm in the small town of the same name to witness iconic performances from, again Hendrix, as well as The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and many more.

Lang would also have his hand in the festival’s revival in 1994 featuring Metallica, Green Day, and Red Hot Chili Peppers among others, as well as 1999’s edition featuring Limp Bizkit, Rage Against The Machine, The Roots, Korn, Megadeth, and tons more. A 50th-anniversary version was attempted in 2019 but the plug was officially pulled due to financial difficulties.

Lang leaves behind five children and one grandchild.

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