Pour one out for one the first big festival promoters. Woodstock Co-founder and over the past several decades, one of the festival’s public faces, Michael Lang died on Saturday night, January 8, at the age of 77. He had rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was being treated Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City according to Billboard.
Lang is survived by his wife Tamara, their sons, Harry and Laszlo, and his daughters, LariAnn, Shala and Molly.
Lang worked with his partners Joel Rosenman, Capitol Records’ Artie Kornfeld and John P. Roberts for the famed 1969 festival held at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. They booked some of the biggest rock, soul and folk artists around in what became one of the most important music events of the 20th century.
Lang started a record label in 1971 Just Sunshine Records, which signed Karen Dalton and then Billy Joel. He would later get into management as well. He helped promote the 25-year anniversary of Woodstock in 1994 and in 2019 wanted to do Woodstock 50, but it was eventually cancelled with a variety of production, permit and other issues that doomed the festival.