With Woodstock’s 50th anniversary turning the corner next year, and no announcements for a return during its golden year, fans were beginning to grow weary that a semi-centennial would not be coming to fruition. However, fans of the iconic hippie gathering can now breath a sigh of relief.
In a recent interview with The Poughkeepsie Journal, one of the festival’s original promoters, Michael Lang, said there are “definite plans” for a 50th anniversary event.
“There are plans,” Lang says. “This is not a done deal yet. But it’s very close.”
After co-creating the original Woodstock 1969, with follow-up events in 1994 and 1999, Lang is currently scouting Bethel, New York, where the inaugural event took place, as the site of Woodstock 2019. Lang was also quoted in an official statement that there are definite intentions to bring the festival back next year.
“We’re hoping to inspire people to speak up and get involved and get out and vote and help us save the planet,” Lang stated. “We are in trouble and it seems like we’ve been brought back in time in a lot of ways.”
Our politically tumultuous landscape is starkly similar to the times of the New Age Movement of the sixties and seventies, a movement that was spearheaded by Woodstock’s birth.
“It’s eerie how similar a lot of things are to the way it was in the late ‘60s, continues Lang. “Lessons we thought we learned seem to be coming back, unlearned. The progress we learned in social justice seems to be going backwards.”
The original Woodstock hosted Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Richie Havens, and Janis Joplin among others, which erected it’s celebration of peace, love, and music against the backdrop of 1960s turmoil. A return to those values would be not just appropriate, but sorely needed.
Woodstock’s 40th anniversary saw Grateful Dead, Creedance Clearwater, The Chemical Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, Fatboy Slim, and a few rap/hip-hop acts who were dominating the commercial space at the time. Considering how EDM is so dominate across today’s global music marketplace, it will interesting to see which electronic artists make the cut for Woodstock 50.