The face of Woodstock, concert promoter Michael Lang, died on January 8th at the age of 77 after battling a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to Rolling Stone. Lang — who wore many hats during his decades in the music business — headed up all three of the Woodstock festivals, organizing and promoting the 1969, 1994, and infamous 1999 event. He tried in vain to produce a 2019 50th anniversary festival, but soon after being announced a crushing series of blows due to permits, funding, and investors ended in a heap of litigation.
Lang, a Brooklyn-born and raised Florida head shop owner, promoted the 1968 Miami Pop Festival and went on to team up with money men John Roberts and Joel Rosenman and record producer Artie Kornfeld to co-create the “Woodstock Music and Art Fair” in 1969. Later that year, he served as an advisor to the Rolling Stones at their ill-fated free concert at Livermore California's Altamont Speedway.
Lang went on to head up his own record label, Just Sunshine Records, and managed Woodstock icon Joe Cocker for over two decades. His multimedia company, The Michael Lang Organization, has worked with the top-tiered names in pop and rock over the years. 2009 saw the publication of his New York Times best selling memoir, The Road To Woodstock, which was co-written with Holly George-Warren.