Man oh man, this is not looking good! So the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest music and peace festivals ever, Woodstock. The festival producer Michael Lang is trying to capture the magic that the show he produced 50 years ago had. Now it seems he’s struggling to keep the show going. Everything that went wrong did with this festival. Dentsu Aegis, the chief financer pulled out and the production tram Superfly left there after, mostly because of the poor planning of the water, sanitation, and the permits. Dentsu then announced the show’s cancellation and Lang said he didn’t have the authority to say that. He also said that the artists were paid, but who the hell is believing. Lang sued Dentsu for $18 Million, but lost because Lang didn’t reach the contractual production milestones. Then the venue pulled out after the organizers failed to pay $150,000. They tried to move the event to Vernon, but the permit got denied. Then another production group left. So now they’re in Maryland, but that’s why Jay-Z and John Fogerty got the hell out of there, (Good call Black Keys, you are obviously much smarter than most)! The show is now a free event, and they released every confirmed act before they violate multiple breaches of contract. So it seems likes there’s only one thing we learned here, Michael Lang isn’t that good of a festival producer.
Woodstock was Michael Lang’s baby, there is nothing he will do better than the original Woodstock. This festival also had it’s setbacks. Let’s not forget that Woodstock was originally going to be in Wallkill, after that got shut down, Saugerties opposed the project. They were lucky to get Bethel, after telling the authorities that there would be 50,000 people attending, the same thing they told Saugerties. The festival got approved despite town’s people trying to shut down Max Yeager’s dairy farm. Then people just randomly walked through the gaps and holes of the gates. The sound and design were OK surprisingly. The event went great, even Max Yeager who was expecting there to be riots, saw it as a, “Victory of peace and love.” This event that became the symbol of hope for America’s problems, bankrupt the promoters, but luckily they owned the film and recording rights and they released the 1970 documentary, “Woodstock,” that would compensate them.
Woodstock 79 was OK, but why the hell would you have the event in Madison Square Garden, kind of takes away the point. Also, there was a Woodstock reunion in Suffolk County. At least this festival was more remembered than Woodstock 89′. Also known as the, “Forgotten Woodstock,” this festival invited anyone to perform, “ANYONE.” So let’s give it up for Wavy Gravy! There was also barely any commercialization. Also there was no lighting, stage, food, or beverages.
Although Woodstock 94′ went great and there were enough performers like Green Day, Sheryl Crow, and Jackyl. The amount of people that came were way more predicted or promise and the event policies were unenforceable. Woodstock 99′, gang rapes, mosh pit deaths, everything was on fire, Fred Durst. It was a cluster F%$#^
The bright spot was Woodstock 09′, the media was strong when it came to the Heart of Woodstock tour, that was the celebration they were meant to have all those years ago. A lot of the performers came back, a lot of the artists who weren’t there originally were there, it was well organized. How?
Michael Lang did something amazing in 1969 and we will never forget him as a peacemaker. He was not a f$%$ing good promoter. Ignoring policies, ignoring permits, ignoring safety and sanitation regulations, not planning ahead, not planning anything really, almost every single mistake Lang made in the past and didn’t learn from, this event was going to look like the Fyre Festival, but Fyre didn’t have 50 years of legacy to maintain.. Look Michael Lang has a good heart, there’s no lying about that, the guy wanted to create the magic that was the original Woodstock. He went on the thought that the importance and the nostalgia of the event would conquer all. Something had to hit Lang that this was going to be a business oriented event, this event was mostly going to be about money. The event was mainly trying to connect the younger crowds with Miley Cyrus and Imagine Dragons with connecting the nostalgia factor with Santana and John Sebastian. This event unfortunately was about money, Michael Lang wanted to separate that from the festival as much as possible, and should of saw that he had to play the game. If this was a different time then this free event in Maryland would be perfect, but the times, they change. How did he get Woodstock 09′, to work so well considering that mistakes were repeated and never learned from the other festivals. But who knows, this might actually work great, we might get to see surprise performances that don’t care about getting paid, maybe because of the current condition of this bullcrap country will make this event the center of peace and love. Don’t get your hopes up though. So the only advice that should be given, is go the well organized Woodstock 50th Anniversary show at the place where it all started. Ringo Starr, John Fogerty and Santana, and you might actually get a taste of what it’s like.
Let me finish this by saying that I do NOT like putting Michael Lang down, I don’t, it sucks. I do not like saying that it might ruin the legacy, as a person who has multiple books about the festival, multiple videos about the festival and went to the Woodstock Museum multiple times, but I’m putting an emphasis on, “Might,” because it probably won’t make a difference. But like a lot of people, I was hoping that this event would be the greatest festival since the first Woodstock. Hey, prove me wrong, prove multiple sources like Fortune, Forbes and Rolling Stone wrong. Go to the festival, have a great time, join hands and sing kumbaya, and show people that they can do something great, because the future is bleak, just like this festival!