In Memoriam: Michael Lang (1944 – 2022)

Michael Lang (December 11, 1944 – January 8, 2022) was an American concert promoter, producer, and artistic manager who was best known as a co-creator of the Woodstock Music & Art Festival in 1969. Lang served as the event’s organizer, as well as the organizer for follow-ups Woodstock ’94 and the ill-fated Woodstock ’99.

Lang was born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family. In 1967, Lang dropped out of New York University and moved to Coconut Grove, Florida, to open a head shop. In 1968, after promoting a series of concert events in the Miami area, Lang (with Marshall Brevetz) produced the 1968 Pop & Underground Festival. It drew around 25,000 people on day one (May 18) and featured Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, John Lee Hooker, Arthur Brown, and Blue Cheer. On the afternoon of the second day (May 19) it started to rain and the event ended early.

Lang also was a sculptor. He had five children and one grandchild. His first wife, vocalist Ann Lang, toured as a backup singer with Joe Cocker and Leon Russell from 1978 to 1982.

Lang died from a rare form of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, on January 8, 2022, at the age of 77.

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