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Michael Lang, organizer of the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival, has died

Michael Lang, one of the organizers of the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969, died yesterday at age 77 at the Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York due to Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to an acquaintance with the specialized site The Hollywood Reporter.

Born in the New York borough of Brooklyn, Lang began producing large concerts in the late 1960s until finally partnering with Joel Rosenman and John Roberts to plan the famous musical gathering of Woodstock, a festival that lasted three days and marked a milestone in the counterculture of the time.

The three-day lineup included icons such as Richie Havens, Santana, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.

“Woodstock provided an environment for people to they will express themselves better. It was probably the most peaceful event of its kind in history. That was due to the expectations and what people wanted to create there, “he had stated in an interview offered in 2019, when the festival was 50 years old.

“I booked the three most popular bands at the time: Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat and Creedence Clearwater Revival,” Lang told Billboard in 2019. snow. Then we started adding bands to the left and right, “he recalled.

Woodstock remains synonymous with the 1960s and a cultural landmark. Lang also produced the 1994 and 1999 reissues., which brought together almost 400 thousand people and ended in a scandal: lack of toilets, reports of rapes, a situation of violence that resulted in injuries and a disaster recorded in the documentary Woodstock ’99: Peace, Love, and Rage.

Jimi Hendrik closed the 1969 Woodstock festival. Photos: REUTERS / AFP / AP

In the last time he had worked in the organization of a reissue in 2019 that was to celebrate 50 years of the original. However, a couple of weeks before the start of the ticket sales the main sponsors of the festival decided to withdraw, the venue had to be changed, the State of New York withdrew the authorization and the event was finally suspended.

Despite this, the activity of this producer was not only concentrated in the Woodstock brand, because he worked with various top-notch artists. In this sense, he was the manager of Joe Cocker -one of the revelations of Woodstock- who even accompanied to Buenos Aires when in the ’70s the singer appeared in our country.

He also worked with Outkast, Prince, Missy Elliott, Snoop Dogg, Steely Dan, The Fugees, Wyclef Jean, Tarkan, Shakira, Madonna, Norah Jones, Marc Anthony, Twista, Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Kid Rock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Christina Aguilera, Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne to name just a few of the bands that passed through his hands.

The story of Lang and his work to carry out the legendary festival could be seen in the film “Welcome to Woodstock”, by Ang Lee, through the character played by actor Jonathan Groff.

DD

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