Woodstock festival co-founder Michael Long dies at 77

New York – Michael LongCo-creator and promoter of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, a touchstone for generations of music fans, now deceased.

The 77-year-old, who had been battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma, died Saturday at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Michael Paniota, a spokesman for Long’s family, said on Sunday.

“He’s definitely a historical figure and a great guy,” Paniota, who has known Long for about 30 years, told The Associated Press. “The two things go hand in hand.”

In the summer of 1969, as the Vietnam War raged and led more and more disaffected young Americans to turn away from tradition, Lang, with partners Artie Kornfeld, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, organized what was called “Peace and Music”. day” festival. customs and embrace a way of life that celebrates freedom of speech.

About 400,000 people came to the small village of Bethel, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of New York City, and endured miles of traffic jams, heavy rain, food shortages and overwhelmed sanitation facilities. The concert’s main stage featured more than 30 performances at the foot of a hill on land owned by farmer Max Yasgur, and concertgoers enjoyed iconic performances by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, The Who and Jefferson Airplane.

Long, with thick brown hair, was featured in Michael Wadley’s 1970 documentary about the festival.

“From the very beginning, I believed that if we put our hearts into the work, prepare well, and set the right tone, people will show their higher selves and create amazing things,” Lang said. his Memoir “The Road to Woodstock”.

Long and others attempted to put on a concert in 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock, but the effort was eventually scrapped due to financial concerns and difficulty obtaining a venue.In an interview with The Associated Press at the time, Long called the experience “a very strange trip” and said he Hope to hold a concert in the future.

While Woodstock is often seen as a template for creating major music festivals, it’s not the first time it’s been held in the U.S. Two years ago, the Monterey Pop Festival drew some 200,000 people to California, and 1968’s Miami Pop The music festival was followed by Lang also organized. But Woodstock still holds an indelible place in history.

“A lot of it was modeled on Woodstock, especially Poonaru and Coachella,” Lang said of other festivals in a 2009 interview. “There is a ritual created that is constantly being replicated.”

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