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Woodstock creator announces competing 50th-anniversary festival

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 1/9/2019 John W. Barry
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Michael Lang, the co-producer and co-creator of the 1969 Woodstock festival, says a 50th-anniversary edition is in the works for Aug. 16-18. He made the announcement Wednesday as reported by The Poughkeepsie Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.

The festival will be held at Watkins Glen International racetrack in upstate New York. The 1,000-acre site is located about 150 miles northwest of the original Woodstock location in Bethel, New York. Another organization, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, is holding its own festival on the original concert site over the same three days.

"Others may try, but there will be only one official Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration," Lang's announcement read.

a person talking on a cell phone: Woodstock promoter Michael Lang © John W. Barry/Poughkeepsie Journ Woodstock promoter Michael Lang

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, held August 15-18, 1969, drew hundreds of thousands of people to Bethel for dozens of musical performances. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who were among the acts at an event considered by many to be the crowning achievement of the 1960s counterculture.  

The musical lineup and on-sale information for Lang's Woodstock 50 event will be announced in the coming weeks. A limited number of discounted, pre-sale tickets will be available to college students aged 18 to 25 by the end of January.

With three main stages, Woodstock 50 will bring together 60 musical acts, well-known names and emerging talent, from the rock, hip-hop, pop and country music genres, Lang said.

“It will be primarily contemporary talent, but the legacy acts will be represented and honored,” Lang said in his announcement.

A 25th-anniversary edition was staged Aug. 12-14,1994 in Saugerties, New York, drawing an estimated crowd of 550,000. It featured a handful of artists from the original, including Joe Cocker, Santana, The Band  Country Joe McDonald and Crosby, Stills and Nash along with contemporary acts such as Green Day, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Sheryl Crow.

Woodstock 50 is being produced under license from Woodstock Ventures, which organized the original festival. Lang will be joined by fellow co-founders Joel Rosenman and Artie Kornfeld. (The fourth member of the promotional team, John P. Roberts, died in 2001.)

According to the announcement, the event will also host nonprofit and "cause-driven organizations," along with screenings, panels and art installations. It also advertised "highly-curated neighborhoods" will feature music, comedy and spoken word.

“The Woodstock 50th Anniversary will be about sharing an experience with great artists and encouraging people to get educated and involved in the social issues impacting everyone on the planet,” Lang said in the statement.

He continued, “It’s so inspiring to see young people today channeling their passion into causes they care about. That’s something that’s always been a part of Woodstock’s mission, and it’s a big focus at the 50th festival.”

Related video: Woodstock is Returning to Celebrate 50th Anniversary (Provided by NowThis News):

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