WOODSTOCK Organizer MICHAEL LANG dead at 77
Michael Lang, a musical concert promoter, producer and artistic manager who is best known as the official producer of Woodstock Music Art Festival in 1969, died Saturday night (January 8) at the age of 77.
Lang died of complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at Sloan Kettering hospital in New York City, a representative said.
In 1968, after promoting a series of concert events in the Miami area, Lang (together with Marshall Brevetz) produced the 1968 Miami Pop Festival, which drew around 25,000 people on its first day with acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, John Lee Hooker, Arthur Brown and BLUE CHEER. After he moved to Woodstock, New York, and met Artie Kornfeld, a respected recording artist and composer, the two developed the concept for a major festival event to celebrate the 1960s social movements and planned to open a recording studio in Woodstock. With Kornfeld and partners John P. Roberts and Joel Rosenman, Lang set Woodstock into motion and it was held on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York, from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Lang later served as a consultant to THE ROLLING STONES before establishing Just Sunshine Records and the Michael Lang Organization. He has produced albums for and managed dozens of acts, including Billy Joel, Joe Cocker and Rickie Lee Jones. Additionally, Lang produced the Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99 festivals.
“Woodstock offered an environment for people to express their better selves, if you will,” Lang told Pollstar in 2019. “It was probably the most peaceful event of its kind in history. That was because of expectations and what people wanted to create there.”
Lang is survived by wife Tamara and his five children, Shala, Lariann, Molly, Harry and Laszlo.