In August 1969, the Woodstock music festival which promised 3 days of peace and music became a pivotal moment in popular music history. Fifty years after that took place, the festival’s original organizers have announced that they are putting together another Woodstock this August. The event will be held over three days – August 16 – 18 – in upstate New York.
Michael Lang, co-founder of the festival planned to book “a mixture of legacy bands, current pop and rap stars and, possibly, some news-making combinations”. As exciting as that sounds, the official artist lineup for Woodstock 50 will not be announced until next month. Rolling Stone magazine revealed that the organizers have already booked more than 40 acts to appear in the festival. There will also be tributes honoring some of the original artists who performed at Woodstock ’69 including Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and Joe Cocker.
In an interview with The Times, Michael Lang discussed his desire for activism to be part of Woodstock 50. “We want this to be more than just coming to a concert,” he said. “And hopefully a lot of the bands will become part of this effort to get people to stand up and make themselves heard, to get and out vote. And if they don’t have a candidate that represents their feelings, to find one—or to run themselves.”
Lang also discussed Woodstock ’99, which was marred by accounts of violence and sexual assault. “’99 was more like an MTV event than a Woodstock event, really. I take some responsibility for that. It was also kind of an angry time in music.” In another interview he said, “Woodstock ’99 was just a musical experience with no social significance.... It was just a big party. With this one, we’re going back to our roots and our original intent. And this time around, we’ll have control of everything.”