Classics Du Jour


Woodstock Organizer Michael Lang Dies at Age 77

Michael Lang, the co-creator of the 1969 Woodstock festival, has died at the age of 77. Lang passed away Saturday, January 8 at a New York City hospital after a battle with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Michael Lang was born in Brooklyn, NY on December 11, 1944. He was just 24 years old when he and co-producer Artie Kornfeld developed and organized the festival, officially titled the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. The three-day event was attended by more than 400,000 people and became one of the most significant musical moments of the 1960s. In 2017, the dairy farm where it was held was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 2019, the event was commemorated on a USPS stamp.

Shortly after Woodstock, Lang began managing Joe Cocker, who had appeared at the festival. The pair worked together for more than 20 years. 

In 2009, Lang co-wrote and released the critically acclaimed New York Times Best Seller The Road to Woodstock.

During his career he was also involved in a number of other projects including as a concert promoter, record label exec and movie producer. 

Lang attempted to organize a 50th anniversary Woodstock celebration dubbed ‘Woodstock 50’ in the summer of 2019. However, the festival faced a number of financial and logistical issues and was ultimately cancelled.

Lang is survived by his wife Tamara, his five children and one grandchild.

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