Michael Lang, the co-creator and organizer of the 1969 music festival Woodstock, has died at the age of 77, Variety reports. He passed away on Saturday at Sloan Kettering in New York City. The cause of death was a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to family spokesperson Michael Pagnotta.
Born in Brooklyn in 1944, Lang attended college in New York City and got his start in concert promotion in the Miami area. He co-produced the 1968 Miami Pop festival, which featured Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and John Lee Hooker, before co-creating the legendary Woodstock Music and Art Fair the following year alongside fellow co-founders Artie Kornfeld, John P. Roberts, and Joel Rosenman.
Lang would go on to start his own production and management company, and helped helm subsequent iterations of the festival in 1994 and 1999 – the latter of which was recently the subject of an HBO documentary. Lang’s attempts to put on a 50th anniversary concert in 2019 suffered multiple setbacks before being eventually cancelled.
Lang is survived by his wife Tamara, their sons, Harry and Laszlo, and his daughters, LariAnn, Shala and Molly.