December 1, 2022

Michael Lang, organizer and producer of Woodstock, dies at 77

While he’s arguably best known for helping to organize the historic festival, his career has included managing music icons like Billy Joel and Joe Cocker, as well as producing numerous rock concerts.

Lang grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and attended New York University before becoming a concert promoter in the 1960s. Variety reported. The year before Woodstock’s flagship festival, Lang hosted an event called the Miami Pop Festival, which featured artists like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa.

Later, Lang, along with John Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld and John P. Roberts, conceptualized the Woodstock Festival in Woodstock, New York, Variety reported.

It is estimated that 400,000 people attended the festival, which would revolutionize not only music festivals, but also the future of music, concerts and counterculture.

In 2019, Lang attempted to organize a Woodstock 50th anniversary music festival. The festival never took place.

Around this time, Lang received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Muhammad Ali Foundation.

He is survived by his wife, Tamara, and his five children: Shala, Lariann, Molly, Harry and Laszlo.