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Woodstock to return for 50th anniversary

By | Published on Thursday 10 January 2019

Festival Crowd

The Woodstock music festival is set to return to mark its 50th anniversary, one of the men behind the original 1969 event has told the New York Times.

Michael Lang told the newspaper that he hopes the festival, set to take place in August in Watkins Glen, New York State, will be about politics as much as music. “Coachella’s got its thing, as does Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza”, he says. “But I think they’re all missing an opportunity to make a difference in the world. They’re all perfect places for social engagement and for fostering ideas, and I think that’s lost”.

He continues: “We want this to be more than just coming to a concert. 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”.

While it’s 50 years since the original event, it’s also 20 years since the name was last used. Woodstock 99 – the second time a full-on festival was staged re-using the moniker, after a previous event in 1994 – is largely remembered for reports of violence, sexual assault and fires.

Asked if this had tarnished the original event’s legacy, Lang says: “It’s not tainted. That 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”.

Now, he says, “just seems like it’s a perfect time for a Woodstock kind of reminder”.