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Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang dies at age 77

Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang dies at age 77

Following a hard-fought battle with a rare form of cancer,  Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang has been pronounced dead at 77 years of age. Lang died of complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at Sloan Kettering hospital in New York City.

A Brooklyn native, Lang dropped out of New York University before heading to the Miami area to organize music events, including the 1968 Miami Pop Festival, which featured Jimi Hendrix. Lang later moved to Woodstock, New York, where he worked with Artie Kornfeld and partners Joel Rosenman and John Roberts to plan the famous Woodstock, which took place from Aug. 15-18, 1969, on Max Yasgur’s farm near Bethel, New York. 

Lang and his co-planners expected a crowd of 100,000 people for the 1969 festival, but were instead joined by upwards of 350,000 attendees. The event was free for all and promoted “three days of peace and music,” according to original flyers. With a lineup featuring Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, and more of music history’s most beloved figures, Michael Lang’s legacy will forever be ingrained in the hearts and minds of music lovers from all walks of life.

Lang attempted to host a Woodstock 50th anniversary event in 2019, but after a series of huge obstacles including artist cancellations, permit pulls, and planning failures, the festival was canceled. Although he was never able to revive his cultural gem, Lang’s contribution to music, politics, and life won’t soon be forgotten.

Lang is survived by his wife Tamara, their sons Harry and Laszlo, and his daughters LariAnn, Shala, and Molly.