it’s looking more and more like there will definitely be a 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair celebrated with a festival in 2019. That’s according to Michael Lang, the Ulster County resident who was a promoter for the original 1969 gathering. However, details of who will be performing, and when and where the show will be held, are not yet available.
“We have definite plans,” Lang said in a recent interview.
He added: “I’m excited. I am indeed.” Lang has served as the public face of this historic concert for five decades.
Lang said: “These are plans. This is not a done deal yet. But it’s very close.” An official announcement will be coming soon, he said.
“considered the crowning achievement of the 60’s counterculture. More than 400,000 people attended the festival.”
in August 1969, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place on a dairy farm in Bethel, NY. Over half a million people came to a 600-acre farm to hear 32 acts (leading and emerging performers of the time) play over the course of four days (August 15-18). Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, the Who, Janis Joplin and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were among the line-up.
Woodstock is known as one of the greatest happenings of all time and –perhaps- the most pivotal moment in music history. Set against the backdrop of the 1960’s turmoil, it was considered the crowning achievement for the 60’s counterculture. It was something that you knew deep down in your spirit, you must attend no matter what. It was more spiritual than anything you likely had encountered before in your young life, and we were all drawn like moth’s to a light to this ‘festival’, somewhere in New York.
We have definite plans to bring back the festival, said Lang.
Lang with partners staged the historic event in 1969. He held a 25th anniversary concert in Saugerties in 1994 and a 30th anniversary concert in Rome, New York, in 1999. The Woodstock site is now home to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which features a museum and indoor and outdoor performance venues, which host Woodstock veterans and contemporary acts on a regular basis. Lang is not affiliated with Bethel Woods.
lang said the anniversary festival will be built around sustainability, activism and social justice, themes that “hopefully encourage people to get involved with our lives on the planet.” Lang said his goal is to harness the “history and essence of what Woodstock was.”
He continued, “We’re hoping to inspire people to speak up and get involved and get out and vote and help us save the planet. We are in trouble and it seems like we’ve been brought back in time in a lot of ways. It’s eerie how similar a lot of things are to the way it was in the late ‘60s. Lessons we thought we learned seem to be coming back, unlearned. The progress we learned in social justice seems to be going backwards.”
“During the festival state police reported no arrests for acts of violence, but did confiscate a substantial amount of drugs ”
Out of the hundreds of thousands of people who attended Woodstock, only 109 were arrested at the festival, all but four for drugs, “but no instance of violence came to the attention of troopers.”
Troopers booked 270 people on 408 charges who were either on their way to Bethel or returning home, and confiscated “a substantial quantity of drugs.”
According to a New York State Health Department report dated Sept. 25, 1969: “Two companies provided 650 individual toilet seats and 200 urinal spaces. This number was planned to serve 60,000. Servicing was difficult due to crowds, stalled cars and mud. There were long lines at some of the toilet sites; however, the spirit of helpfulness and sharing allowed maximum use, not to mention the lack of inhibition on the part of the Aquarius generation.”