Books & Music

The Original Woodstock Organizer Is Planning A 50th Anniversary Festival For This Summer

Who's ready for a road trip?!

The original Woodstock music festival in 1969 was a pivotal moment in rock and roll history, and its influence continues to be felt today. Now, the festival’s co-creator, Michael Lang, has confirmed that Woodstock is poised for a return with a three-day festival honoring the 50th anniversary of the original event. It will be held in Watkins Glen, New York, on Aug. 16, 17 and 18.

The original festival included performances from legendary artists including Grateful Dead, Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Joe Cocker, The Band, Jimi Hendrix and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Lang says this year’s festival will likely include tributes from contemporary artists to their predecessors.

According to Lang, more than 40 artists are set to perform on three stages, including a mix of newer artists and bands from the original festival, though he would not mention specifics.

michael lang woodstock photo
Getty Images | Michael Loccisano

Why Reboot Woodstock?

Woodstock ’94 was held in 1994 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original event and was followed by Woodstock ’99 for the 30th anniversary. But the latter event was plagued by myriad problems, including riots, extreme heat and fires.

woodstock 1969 photo
Getty Images | Mario Tama

Lang hopes that this year’s iteration will mark more of a return to the vibe of the original event. He plans to have representatives from various nonprofits speak to concertgoers about pressing political issues of the day, such as global warming.

“Woodstock, in its original incarnation, was really about social change and activism,” he told Rolling Stone. “And that’s a model that we’re bringing back to this festival. It’s a gathering for fun and for excitement and for experiences and to create community, but it’s also about instilling kind of an energy back into young people to make their voices heard, make their votes heard.”

He also has measures in place to avoid some of the logistical problems of the 1999 event, such as ensuring there’s plenty of drinkable water available.

Would you attend Woodstock 2019?

Tickets go on sale in February.