A festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock will take place this summer, co-creator Michael Lang has confirmed in interviews with Rolling Stone and The New York Times. The three-day event will take place from August 16-18 in Watkins Glen, New York—not the original Woodstock site in Bethel, New York. The first acts are expected to be announced in February, but according to a press release, there will be over 60 artists spread across three stages.
Michael Lang told Rolling Stone, “It’ll be an eclectic bill…. It’ll be hip-hop and rock and some pop and some of the legacy bands from the original festival.” He also said, “We’re also looking for unique collaborations, maybe some reunions and a lot of new and up-and-coming talent.” In addition, Lang expressed hope for tribute performances to artists who played the original Woodstock, like Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane, among others.
Speaking with The Times, Michael Lang discussed his desire for activism to be part of Woodstock 50. “We want this to be more than just coming to a concert,” he said. “And hopefully a lot of the bands will become part of this effort to get people to stand up and make themselves heard, to get and out vote. And if they don’t have a candidate that represents their feelings, to find one—or to run themselves.” Lang told The Times that organizers expect to sell 100,000 three-day passes to Woodstock 50.
Lang also discussed Woodstock ’99, which was marred by accounts of violence and sexual assault. “’99 was more like an MTV event than a Woodstock event, really. I take some responsibility for that. It was also kind of an angry time in music,” he told The Times. In addition, Lang told Rolling Stone, “Woodstock ’99 was just a musical experience with no social significance…. It was just a big party. With this one, we’re going back to our roots and our original intent. And this time around, we’ll have control of everything.