Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival: “definite plans,” co-founder says
As 2019 draws nearer, the Woodstock 50th anniversary concert rumor mill continues to churn. The original festival, which was held from August 15-18 1969 in Bethel, NY, has been the namesake for a couple of previous anniversary celebrations – the muddy “2 More Days of Peace and Music” 25th anniversary in Saugerties, NY in August of 1994, and the infamously violent, chaotic Woodstock ’99 in Rome, NY, in July of 1999. Woodstock’s original co-creator, Michael Lang, had plans for a 40th anniversary concert in Prospect Park in 2009, which ultimately never materialized. But in 2016, Lang said he had plans for a 50th anniversary edition of the festival, and it seems he hasn’t given up on those. New rumors about it still happening seem to pop up every month, but in a new interview with Poughkeepsie Journal, Lang himself says “it’s very close,” and that an official announcement will be coming soon.
More from Poughkeepsie Journal:
“We have definite plans,” Lang told the Journal on Friday.
He added: “I’m excited. I am indeed.”
Lang has served as the public face of this historic concert for five decades.
Lang said: “These are plans. This is not a done deal yet. But it’s very close.”
An official announcement will be coming soon, he said.
The Woodstock site is now home to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which features a museum and indoor and outdoor performance venues, which host Woodstock veterans and contemporary acts on a regular basis. Lang is not affiliated with Bethel Woods.
Lang said the anniversary festival will be built around sustainability, activism and social justice, themes that “hopefully encourage people to get involved with our lives on the planet.” Lang said his goal is to harness the “history and essence of what Woodstock was.”
He continued, “We’re hoping to inspire people to speak up and get involved and get out and vote and help us save the planet. We are in trouble and it seems like we’ve been brought back in time in a lot of ways. It’s eerie how similar a lot of things are to the way it was in the late ‘60s. Lessons we thought we learned seem to be coming back, unlearned. The progress we learned in social justice seems to be going backwards.”
Woodstock’s official site is also teasing a 50th anniversary event with the image above.
Previous rumors about an upcoming anniversary event have included talk of “TED-style talks and presentations” and “brand activations.”
The New York Post says a source told them he’s “in talks with acts and has been scouting an outdoor space” for this summer. We’re concerned about this timeline, though; if the NY Post‘s sources are correct, what they are presenting as promising doesn’t seem very promising to us, considering how long in advance we’d expect them to need to secure a space that big and book artists.